The end of 2013 is around the corner, but there are several steampunk events waiting to be enjoyed before the year is out. Ring in 2014 with The Clockwork Cabaret, attend a “Steampunk Camp” in Australia, or pay a tribute to A Christmas Carol at The Dickens Fair in California.
These celebrations and festivities, plus many more, are listed below, found with help from Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and this month’s guest contributor Jean Martin, the editor-in-chief, writer and photographer for Science Fiction/San Francisco.
Looking to be featured here for 2014? We’ll be updating our steampunk convention listing and on the hunt for events to feature for January 2014. Email the details to [email protected] to get involved.
All descriptions are taken from the events website or Facebook page unless stated otherwise.
The Airship Ambassador recommends:
Time Travelers Picnic 2013
Dec 8—Prince Henry Gardens on North Terrace, Adelaide South Australia
It’s summer in Australia and a picnic in Prince Henry Gardens is most welcome! Bring food and drink to share, lawn games, picnic blankets, music playing devices, kites, racing Daleks, objects of amusement.This is not just a steampunk costumed event, nor is it dress like a time traveller. Instead, any time period is welcome!
Lincoln Steampunk Christmas Party
Dec 13—Lincoln, United Kingdom
The Lincoln Steampunk Society cordially invites you to an evening of festive cheer and merriment in the opulent ball room of the County Assembly Rooms. Your ticket includes: mulled wine on arrival, three course Christmas fare with silver served main course; music to dance the night away provided by our very own steampunk DJ; access to the quieter Tennyson Room and the gardens for smoking/ fresh air. Doors open 7:30pm. Dinner is served 8:30pm sharp Bar closes at midnight. Please dress to impress – steampunk encouraged, but not essential.
The Great Steampunk Camp at St Johns Camp
Dec. 29 – Jan. 2—Wesburn, Victoria, Australia
The World Fair 2013-2014 will be held over 5 days and packed full of amazing things to see and awesome entertainments and activities. A selection of events, workshops and seminars to attend as well as an art show, traders hall and shows in the evenings!
Jean Martin Recommends:
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Dec. 6 – 21—San Francisco, CA
Dickens Fair is a magical recreation of Victorian London at Christmastime based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday season as there are costumed re-enactors, vintage dancing, shows and games. There are also unique shops and food vendors along the decorated streets.
The Victorian atmosphere lends itself well to the Steampunk genre, and for the past several years, Steampunk groups in the San Francisco Bay Area have been organizing ‘Steampunk Invasions’ on one or two days during the run of Dickens Fair. Members come in costume to enjoy afternoon tea and gather for a photo at some point. But you don’t have to come during these group outings as some people come in Steampunk costume on any day during the fair.
Steel City Con
Dec. 6 – 8—Pittsburgh, PA
Steel City Con is Pennsylvania’s largest toy, comic and pop culture convention. Comic book and pop culture conventions have become popular venues for Steampunk aficionados to show up in costume and this one is no exception. Some Steampunks from the area are planning on attending.
The draw for this particular convention is the sci-fi aspect of Steampunk as there will be special guests representing the genre such as George Takei from Star Trek and Michael Biehn from The Terminator. There will also be vendors selling toys, games and collectibles.
Fourth Annual Mad Hatter Holiday Festival
Dec. 7—Vallejo, CA
The Mad Hatter Holiday Festival is a celebration of the season, which begins with a fair, followed by a parade and tree lighting ceremony, and culminates in a costume ball. The fair will offer free entertainment as well as international food and craft vendors. The parade will feature characters from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll along with Steampunk art cars and marching bands.
The main attraction for Steampunks is the Mad Hatter Costume Ball, which is being touted as ‘A Steampunk Wonderland Creation.’ The ball will have Wonderland costumed characters, a circus of activities and performers, and a live bluegrass band.
Additional Events Around the World
Weird West Fest
Dec 7 – Giddings, TX
The Weird West Fest is a Weird Western-themed one-day convention geared to fans of Steampunk, Victorian and the Old West. We have guests, gaming, music, films, costume and beard contests, panels and presentations. Our activities are held in an actual 1880’s Train Depot and a 1918 Silent Era Movie House. So revisit the Western Age of Steam and … “Git your Gears to Giddings”
Chepstow and Area Steampunk Society Christmas Dinner
Dec 9—Chepstow, United Kingdom
Last meeting of the year, enjoying the good food of the Coach and Horses in good company. The Coach & Horses Inn is a 16th century coaching house situated in Welsh Street in the rural Welsh border town of Chepstow.
The Milwaukee Steampunk Society December Salon
Dec 11—Milwaukee, WI
Merry Happy Steampunk Holidays to you all! December’s Salon at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic should prove to be exciting! Like last year, we will be hosting a white elephant gift party. We will do our normal event announcements at 7pm and the gift exchange will begin shortly after these announcements.
We Shall Have Them With Us Always: The Ghosts of The Mark Twain House
Dec 11—Hartford, CT at the Mark Twain House & Museum
After visits from Ghost Hunters and My Ghost Story, as well as dozens of unexplained encounters, author and Twain historian Steve Courtney tackles the question: Is this Mark Twain House haunted? “We Shall Have Them with Us Always”: The Ghosts of the Mark Twain House collects the history, paranormal occurrences and attempts to separate the fact from the fabrication. This free discussion will feature various members of the Mark Twain House and Museum staff who have experienced unexplained happenings. Blue Moon Paranormal will be on-hand to reveal the results of the latest ghost hunt in The Mark Twain House. A book signing will follow. Sponsored by First Niagara.
THE CLOCKWORK BALL: A Steampunk Masquerade
Dec 31—Saxapahaw, NC
Attention Pilots of Airships and their Crews, Mad Scientists, Explorers of the Unknown, Admirers of Verbosity, Respecters of the Strange, Those Lost in the Throes of Opium or Absinthe, Teetotalers, Scallywags, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dandies, Fops, and Urchins…join us as we ring in 2014! Featuring a musical performance by Onyx Club Boys. Hosted by that darling DJ duo – Emmett Davenport & Lady Nikolai Attercop (both of The Clockwork Cabaret). Jazz, Blues, Swing, Dark Cabaret, Gypsy Punk, Gypsy Jazz & Dance music from times gone by or times that never were. Doors at 8pm; Music begins at 9pm. Admission: All Ages; $10 in advance/$12 at door. Appropriate Attire is Encouraged, but never required.
Ay-leen the Peacemaker already has several of these cons on her travel schedule. When not zipping across the country, she works at Tor Books, runs the multicultural steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana, pens academic things, and tweets.
Jean Martin is editor-in-chief, writer and photographer for Science Fiction/San Francisco, which covers all areas of fandom in the Bay Area and beyond. She is also the SF Costume Design Examiner for Examiner.com. Jean is a frequent moderator and panelist at pop culture, science fiction/fantasy and Steampunk conventions. She is also involved in costuming, dancing, singing and acting, and has won awards for costuming and as part of masquerade teams. She is one of the Bay Area English Regency Society and Period Events and Entertainments Re-creation Society organizers. She is a member of the Steam Federation-Bay Area Steampunk Association and the San Francisco Steampunks.