The dog days of summer are upon us, so it’s time to dress down and put up your parasols. Join fellow steampunks on time-traveling weekends, picnicking at castles, or at one of the mega-conventions of the year, Dragon*Con! Thanks to Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our monthly guest contributor Doctor Zachariah E. Fantastique of Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders for their help in gathering some of the most exciting steampunk and steam-friendly events this month.
If we overlooked yours, feel free to plug in the comments. If you’d like to see your event here next month, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details by August 15th
All descriptions are from the event website or Facebook, unless stated otherwise.
The Airship Ambassador Recommends:
The Alternative History Track at Dragon*Con—August 30–September 2—Atlanta, GA
Join us in the world of Alternate History to explore the future of worlds that never were, but you wish could have been. Within our panels and programming, you will learn about the cogs and clockworks of steampunk, historic romance and alternate history fiction, retrofuturism, and any antique reality to explore with imagination you can think up. From the makers who bring wonders of a bygone age back to life before your eyes, to costumers who look to have stepped out of a Victorian Sci-Fi Penny Dreadful, to authors of tales spanning time, space, and all forms of alternate realities, this track has it all! If you can imagine a time when things were crafted with care and individuality, proper manners and etiquette was the norm, and wonder lay around every street corner or horizon, you will be at home with the explorers, inventors, artisans, and adventurers of the Alternate History Track. Featured guests include authors Cherie Priest, D.B. Jackson, S.M. Stirling, Leanna Renee Hieber, Maragret Killjoy, and Jana Oliver, musicians Doktor A, Professor Elemental, Abney Park, performers The League of S.T.E.A.M., artist Brian Kesinger, attending professionals Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Claire Eddy, Susan Chang, Emilie P. Bush, Thomas Willeford, and many more.
SteamFest Australia —August 3–4, Bundamba Train Station, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Fancy a chat with Unwoman? A cup of tea with Abney Park, A wee jest with the Prof? A shared discourse on gypsy and klemzer musical styles with Rapskallion and The Mouldy Lovers? Or perhaps an in depth conversation regarding how one may attach a steam driven oscillation device to one’s existing pianola without turning the house into rubble with Dij Dijor. Set amongst the stark industrial architecture of The Workshops Rail Museum Moving Goods Warehouse, now is your chance to Eat, drink and make merry with old friends, discover new friends, be entertained by an array of amusements for your delectation and kick SteamFest off to a cracking good start. All performers and special guests at Steamfest will be appearing at the Gala night. This is a intimate event and tickets are limited. For more information visit www.steamfestaustralia.com or buy your tickets online. And don’t forget their pre-con gala event!
The Lumiere Festival—August 17— Stanley Park/New Edinburgh Park, Ottawa, Canada
There are lantern workshops in the weeks coming up to it and mystery on the wending ways. The addition of marvelous steampunks would make the whole thing just that bit better. A description of the event: “From the lanterns on display, to the labyrinth, to the performers and music-all illuminated by only lantern and lamplight, Lumière will hold you in its spell. Come re-discover the night and the magic of light!” Official website.
Doctor Fantastique Recommends:
CFSA Tinker Night—August 19 at 7 p.m. at FamiLAB in Longwood, FL
The Central Florida Steampunk Association runs this tinker night every month, giving members and guests the ability to get their maker on. Attendees are encouraged to bring whatever they’re working on. If you’d rather just help out though, that’s fine too; a true community-building event.
“Time Travel Weekends” in Historic Old Sacramento—August 3–4 and 10–11 in Old Sacramento, CA
Meet the citizens of Sacramento circa 1850 to 1870, including Leland Stanford, Collis Potter Huntington, Lola Montez, Black Bart, and darling Lotta Crabtree. View “nickel” shows at the Eagle Theatre sponsored by Professor Cornelius Poindexter’s Miracle Cure! Witness patriotic speeches and parades, temperance rallies, women’s suffrage protests, road raising marches, and even a squatters’ riot!
Steampunk Pottery Party—August 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Prouse Pottery & Soap Co. in North Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
The Toronto Steampunk Society, in conjunction with Prouse Pottery & Soap Co., is holding a $25 pottery workshop. Shop owner Nick Prouse will create a few pieces for attendees as well as provided tea and snacks for participants. A good way to get out and see some interesting steampunk pottery designs.
Additional Events from Around the World:
STEAM the high-flying escapades of Penny Farthing—Now through November—Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, Gatlinburg, TN
On your next visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, head for Pat & Don MacPherson’s Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, Gatlinburg´s ONLY Musical Comedy Entertainment Attraction and the OLDEST Purveyor of Professional, Live-On-Stage, Original Musical Comedies, outrageous humor and hilarious fun in the Smokies. The unique format used at our theater hearkens back to the old Music Halls of the 1890s. Our multi-talented performers take turns adding their uniqueness to the inevitable comic mayhem for which Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre is renowned.
FREE EVENT! Summer garden fêtes were popular events in Victorian and Edwardian country houses. It was a rare opportunity for all the estate workers to come together to celebrate. Such events were held here at St Fagans Castle in the time of the Windsor-Clive family in the early 1900s. Come and explore life in this period, from the point of view of the servants or gentry. Enjoy and take part in all sorts of events. Join them on Facebook.
Join old and new Steampunk friends in Britain’s favourite place to live and England’s finest stone town for a weekend of splendid fun and frolics. Starting on Friday evening with check-in at 5.30pm, you can repair to the nearest hostelry with your meal deal ticket and then return to the hall for the Victorian Magic Lantern Show. Bring along a maximum of 4 items that you don’t want any more and you can swap them for 4 more. Saturday starts at 10am with a steampunk market featuring lots of amazing wares. There will be afternoon teas, plus competitions and workshops … including, of course, tea duelling. Our evening includes 3 fabulous bands: BB Blackdog, Gladstone and Crimson Clocks.
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire’s “Time Travellers Weekend”—August 10–11—Mount Hope Estate, PA
The soothsayers have forseen a chronological convergence of time travelers, doctors, trekkers of the stars, the steam-punkified, slayers and many more of the fictions of science as they gather upon the Shire of Mount Hope. Featuring an Adult Costume Exhibition – All adult time travelers are invited to gather for an exhibition of their most creative fashions. (Stand-out participants will receive wondrous prizes!)
Gears on the Green 2nd Annual Steampunk Picnic in New Westminster—August 25, 12—4pm—Queen’s Park, New Westminster, BC, Canada
Vancouverites for Steampunk group is delighted to invite you to join us for our second annual August steampunk picnic in The Royal City of New Westminster! Enjoy a relaxed afternoon of al fresco dining and fun, in the company of other differently-dressed folks, before, perhaps, you finish wending your way to the Fraser Gold Rush. Pack your parasols & straw boaters, and your picnic hampers, blankets, cushions, chairs, stools, shade canopies & tea-serving automatons, and other such necessities for your comfort.
Guest contributor Doctor Zachariah E. Fantastique is the Chief Writer of Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders, where he covers steampunk fiction as well as cultural topics. He is currently working on several books of literary history as well as a new steampunk novel.