Posts Tagged ‘Steampunk World’s Fair’

I thought I’d pass this along to everyone.  This makes me wish I lived closer to the East Coast.

Steampunk Festival Fears Mother Nature

Steampunk World’s Fair takes unusual step to keep inclement weather from raining on parade

This May, the Steampunk World’s Fair will hit Piscataway, New Jersey with three days of the largest steampunk festival in the country – last year’s fair garnered about 3000 guests in total. With a nation of steampunks fondly reminiscing on the jam-packed events of the 2011 event and expectations just as high this year, any inclement weather could only result in soggy sadness. But this year, Mother Nature will not stand in the way. In preparation for unwanted precipitation, the event has specifically planned a special set of programs to take place in the rain.

This solution may be unusual, but The Steampunk World’s Fair is used to travelling unorthodox routes. Three years ago, it was among the very first of Steampunk events to approach Steampunk gatherings from a festival, rather than a convention, standpoint. The performance-heavy event focuses on creating the boisterous, exuberant atmosphere of a carnival or faire, rather than the calmer atmosphere of a convention. Says event creator, Jeff Mach, “rather than a situation where, if it rains, we just ‘make do,’ we’re going to actually have activities and programs which will blow your socks off!” It will take a grand amount of planning to get the rain program on its feet, but organizers are excited about its potential, urging guests to “Hope for rain!”

Of course, if it doesn’t end up raining at the fair, there will be plenty of delightful activities for guests to revel in. In addition to the largest array of Steampunk performances available anywhere, festivals of the past have featured everything from Why Not Cake, an imaginative company of gourmet cake artists; to visits from award-winning author Leanna Renee Hieber. So stick an umbrella in your top hat, because the Steampunk World’s Fair promises imaginative entertainment, rain or shine.

The creators of Steampunk World’s Fair are also notable for their annual Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire and Geeky Kink Event. More information on The Steampunk World’s Fair can be found at steampunkworldsfair.com


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We’d like to welcome back Emilie P. Bush, author of Chenda and the Airship Brofman. Today she’s going to talk about her recent trip to the Steampunk World’s Fair.

Here in the Deep South, we have a quaint phrase for something that has just a little too much going on: It looks like 10 pounds of flour in a five pound sack. Sometimes we don’t say flour, but rather something a bit less… genteel.

The phrase only comes to mind in connection with Steampunk World’s Fair, in so much as this event had SO much going on, it trickled out of the ballrooms and meeting spaces, through the corridors and onto the Springtime New Jersey grass. Yes, it took SPWF to draw this southern girl to New Jersey. I know. I’m shocked, too. But I have underestimated the allure of the Garden State until now.

Steampunk World’s Fair offered a broad variety of entertainment – from the simple homey mandolin strumming of Matt DeBlass to the full on driving rhythms of Voltaire, the music never stopped. I, voted class band geek in high school, was especially tickled with Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band. Very entertaining as they wandered through the hotel.

Mix and mingle was the way of it throughout the fair. The performers rubbed elbows with the fans around the clock. Professor Elemental, visiting from across the pond, basically stood in the hotel’s lobby, chatting up huge number’s of fans and offering to sing bits of your favorite raps! Also a delightful and friendly chap all around, Jake Von Slatt offered up detailed guided tour of his converted school bus.

Writers flocked to the Library of Lost Literature, hosted by Quirk Books and Weird Tales Magazine. I got to know Ben Winters, co-writer of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and the forthcoming Android Karenina, as well as Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the bestselling 2009 Victorian fantasy novelThe Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. The library’s simple plan to deliver brief author reading on the hour every hour was simply brilliant. It was like going to a fine chocolate shop and being able to taste all the delectable delights straight from the candy man’s hand.

Let’s not forget the shopping. Merchants were EVERYWHERE – All the first floor hotel rooms (where shoppers looked past end tables and mattresses to examine merchandise), around most of the ballrooms and throughout the hotel courtyard. I’m not sure I even got to them all!

Before I leave you with the impression it was all fun and games, there were serious activities as well, all of which were very well attended. Social Issues in Steampunk, a panel discussion on race, gender, class and ethnicity in Steam, was unexpectedly well attended – tripling the number of available seats. I too had a crush of visitors for my Steampunk Persona Workshop, expecting 25 and, in the end, entertaining 70 souls.

Whisper Merlot – SPWF’s Programming manager, did an excellent job keeping half of the canaries flying at all times on the over-loaded airship (pardon me for mincing that old joke). Originally planned as a 500 attendee event, the final participant count topped 3300.

I look forward to next year, and more excitement and musical adventure, but in the end, I have just one more expression, this time from Jaws: I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat.



Emilie P. Bush – Author of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semi-finalist book Chenda and the Airship Brofman – lives and writes in Atlanta. Be sure to visit her in Charlotte, NC, at Con Carolinas / Deep South Con, or July 4th Weekend at the MENSA Annual Gathering. Chenda and the Airship Brofman is available at Amazon.com and also as an e-book from the Kindle store.

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