Mississippi Steampunks Go Hollywood

The Southern Steampunk Expo in Gulfport, Miss., will offer photo ops on real movie sets

Sunday, May 13, 2018
Lincoln Train

Steampunks in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region and beyond will have an opportunity to pose for photos in authentic movie sets this weekend as the first-ever Southern Steampunk Expo comes to Gulfport, Mississippi.

The event will take place May 19 and 20 at The Warehouse, an 86,000-square-foot facility that contains sets and props from TV and film productions shot in the Gulf Coast region. They include a saloon from the 2016 re-make of "The Magnificent Seven" and a train from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," as well as props from "American Horror Story," "12 Years a Slave," "Jack Reacher," "GI Joe," and "Planet of the Apes."

The venue is also home to "Terror on the Coast," a haunted house attraction that runs on weekends in October.

Airship Demenca

Hosted by the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum, the expo will also feature workshops, a costume contest, a scavenger hunt, kids' carnival, gaming area, Tarot readings, tea dueling for kids and adults, and a belly dance exhibition.

Airship Demenca, a group of steampunk cosplayers from the Jackson area, will present a panel on "Steampunk 101." Other participants include Airship Aberrant, a steampunk group from Mobile, Alabama, and Airship 67 from Hattiesburg.

The expo was conceived by the museum's program director, Katherine Sutton, along with museum volunteer Merideth Sikkens and Airship Demenca. The initial idea, she says, was to have a steampunk event for kids at the museum, "since we are all about trains and steam engines." Then Airship Demenca suggested a larger event at The Warehouse.

Sutton is hoping to draw at least 2000 attendees over the two days, which would make this one of the larger paid steampunk events in the U.S. "We have vendors coming from New Orleans, Mobile, Jackson and even farther away," she says. Gulfport is less than a 90-minute drive from New Orleans and Mobile (airship travel times vary).

The expo is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. General-admission tickets are $15 for Saturday, $10 for Sunday, or $20 for a weekend pass. Kids 5-13 can get in for $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass.

Photographers should be prepared for low-light conditions.

Following Saturday's festivities, The New Orleans Steamcog Orchestra will perform at an "After Expo Steampunk Party" scheduled for 7 p.m. There's a $5 cover charge, and entrants must be 18 or older.

The Warehouse is located at 3420 Giles Rd. in Gulfport, a few miles from the museum's location on Pass Rd.

The photos above were shot at The Warehouse. Photo credit: David Gulledge. Used by permission of Southern Steampunk Expo. Photo below (New Orleans Steamcog Orchestra) © 2017 Reverend Charley Photography.

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New Orleans Steamcog Orchestra
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