It seems like people fancy the 19th century the most between Halloween and New Year’s. With Victorian Christmas events popping up left and right, who would be better fitted to attend than your local troupe of time-hopping, goggle-donning retrofuturists? This December go on a cruise on the river Thames, celebrate Dickens’ big 2-0-0 in San Francisco, or rock out over the aethernetz at a steampunk holiday concert. Airship Ambassador Kevin Steil and guest contributor Matt Delman of Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders join me in celebrating the holidays with a bit of brass.
Steampunk on the Thames:
London, England, United Kingdom
Why Matt recommends this: “A festive evening cruise on an old sailing barge along the River Thames? Umm, yeah that’s a definite event I’d like to participate in. Time Machine Adventures is hosting the exclusive event—only 50 tickets sold. Steampunk and fantasy author Robert Ranch is the special guest. London Bridge will even open just for the barge, giving guests a terrific photo op.”
Great Dickens Christmas Fair:
Weekends through December 23
San Francisco, California
Why Matt recommends this: “Charles Dickens is one of the spiritual fathers of Steampunk literature; after all, his Bleak House created the concept of urban fog. And it’s particularly appropriate to attend it this year because it’s the celebration of Dickens’ 200th birthday!”
Christmas at the Biltmore:
Through January 1, 2013
Asheville, North Carolina
Why Matt recommends this: “Though not a Steampunk event, Christmas at the Biltmore in Asheville allows visitors a window into how the well-heeled Vanderbilt family celebrated the holidays during the late 1800s.”
About our guest contributor: Matthew Delman is the Publisher and Executive Editor of Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders, an online Steampunk magazine with the mission of reporting on the Steampunk world, one cog at a time. Matthew has published fiction with Nevermet Press and scholarship with Cambridge Scholars Press.
Additional Steampunk Events Around the World
Leeds Steampunk Market at the Victorian Christmas Fair:
December 8, 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM UTC
Leftbank, Leeds, England, United Kingdom
A traditional Victorian Christmas fair with a steampunk twist, featuring 50 steampunk and holiday vendors. Organized by HooDoo, in cooperation the Leeds Steampunk Market. Check out their Facebook page for a full vendor listing.
Also includes market stalls, tea dueling, games and more. This whole event will also be streamed live at The Snoot Fox over the aetherwebz.
A Victorian Christmas at the Bryngarw House:
December 15 and 16
Near Bridgend, South Wales, United Kingdom
From the website: “Get into the Christmas spirit at our popular Victorian Christmas event. There’s lots going on for all the family to enjoy including: Traditional Victorian fairground rides including a carousel, swing boats, coconut shy, stalls and barrel organ; Christmas market featuring local crafts and food; Victorian entertainers and storytellers; Special visit from Father Christmas; Traditional hot chestnut seller, toasted marshmallow stall, mulled wine and mince pies; Hot hog rolls and stuffing available from café; Circus workshop and children’s entertainers; Outdoor carol singing; Festive Christmas music and a brass band performing Christmas favourites throughout the day.”
Ay-leen the Peacemaker isn’t really into Christmas as much as she’s into the holiday known to fellow Pastafarians as Holiday. So Happy Holiday to all! She’s also the founding editor behind the multicultural steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana and has been recently published in the academic anthologies Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style and Steaming into a Victorian Future. And she tweets.