Florida City Hosts Steampunk Invasion
Bastille the Butler joins Aunt Matilda to welcome steampunk fans to historic St. Augustine
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Aunt Matilda’s Steampunk Trunk in St. Augustine, Florida is inviting steampunk fans to a “festival without a festival” in which the historic city will serve as the backdrop for a scavenger hunt, pub crawl, and other activities. This time, Aunt Matilda will be joined by Bastille the Butler, a cosplay character from Jacksonville who appears at fan conventions throughout the state. It all happens Nov. 8-10.
This will be the third year for the event and the second organized by Aunt Matilda’s, a local retail shop that specializes in steampunk products. The general approach is the same as last year, but “we’ve added a couple of things,” says proprietor Aunt Matilda (her stage name).
Here’s how it works: Participants will stop at the store to receive an itinerary with suggested activities. The invasion has scheduled events, including a book signing on Friday night, the pub crawl on Saturday night, and a dieselpunk brunch on Sunday. But it’s all optional, and visitors are free to explore the town’s many retail shops and tourist attractions. Costumes are encouraged but not required.
The event draws visitors from throughout Florida as well as southern Georgia, she says.
Friday’s main event will be a book signing with Matt Knowles, co-creator of the Heirs of Isildur graphic novel and comic series. It will happen from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Aunt Matilda’s.
On Saturday, visitors can participate in a “Selfie Scavenger Hunt” in which they’ll visit local businesses and landmarks and pose for selfies outside. At each location, they’ll be challenged to decipher clues on the itinerary. If they’re successful, they can enter the business and get discounts. It runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, Aunt Matilda’s will offer a series of revolving sales on different categories of steampunk wares throughout the day. Bastille the Butler will be there to greet visitors from noon to 8 p.m.
Some guests will then embark on a Steampunk Stroll from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., including stops at three pubs with drink specials. This is a ticketed event for folks 21+ only. Tickets costs $24.99 for one person or $46.99 for two. Each participant will receive a custom flask.
Sunday’s dieselpunk brunch is another ticketed event. It takes place at Aunt Matilda’s from 10 a.m. to noon. Tickets cost $15.99 for one person or $30 for two. Or you can purchase a combination brunch and stroll ticket for $35.99.
St. Augustine, about 40 miles south of Jacksonville, is a major tourist destination in northern Florida. Founded in 1545, it is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the continental U.S. Some of its tourist attractions date from the Spanish colonial era, but the city is also known for its spectacular 19th century architecture, including the former Hotel Alcazar and Ponce de Leon Hotel.
Other attractions include the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, Wolf’s Museum of Mystery, the Medieval Torture Museum, and the first Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.
Aunt Matilda’s Steampunk Trunk is in the Shops of St. George’s Row, 106 St. George St., Suite B, in downtown St. Augustine. It’s one of many shops on or near St. George Street, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare.
For more tourist spots in the city, check out the photo gallery below.
Photos used by permission of Aunt Matilda’s Steampunk Trunk.