Steampunks Go “Arrrrgh”

Well, not exactly, but steampunks were among the participants at the NorCal Pirate Festival

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pirates of the seafaring variety invaded the waterfront of Vallejo, CA this weekend as the Northern California Pirate Festival came to town. Any airship pirates in the crowd were traveling incognito, but we did encounter some steampunk vendors and a few folks who ditched the pirate hats in favor of gears and goggles.

This being my first pirate festival, I have the following observations:

• Pirates are just as fond of hats as steampunks.

• Both genres have adopted the octopus as an icon.

• I did not actually hear anyone say “Arrrrrrgh,” or even “Ahoy, matey!”

A more common expression was “Will that be cash or credit?” One vendor proclaimed that “We gladly accept Lady Visa, Master Card, New World Express [and] Discover the New World.”

As you might expect, many participants were clad in clever costumes, most notably a pirate Santa Claus who kept fending off questions about “naughty pirates” versus nice ones. He doesn’t have a Steampunk Santa in his repertoire, but he told me he occasionally dresses up as a Steampunk Darth Vader.

More than anything, the pirate festival was a grand photo op, so we’ll dispense with further verbiage and go straight to the gallery (after a brief promotional message).


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