Gallery: Big River Steampunk Fest 2021
Steampunk fans once again flocked to Hannibal, Missouri for the annual gathering
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Photo by Curt Knapp
The Big River Steampunk Festival returned to Hannibal, Missouri over Labor Day Weekend with a new owner and questions about whether it would be as big and spectacular as past gatherings.
“That question was answered as thousands traveled to the event,” reports correspondent and photographer Curt Knapp. “I met so many people who were at their first steampunk event and planning to come back next year. And I was fortunate to see folks who have become friends from past festivals.”
His favorite part of the event is the costume contest, “and this year I was surprised at the level of creativity that most contestants had put into their costumes. Some have been working on their costumes since the last festival.” That was in 2019, as last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The festival also offered music, comedy, magic, workshops, and lots of shopping opportunities from vendors who lined the streets.
The new owner is local restauranteur Tammy Riley, who appeared in the guise of a sheriff. One new feature was a children’s area suggested by Riley’s six-year-old granddaughter Berlynn. Also new were a dieselpunk area and a wasteland area inspired by the Mad Max movies.
Hannibal, the boyhood home of Mark Twain, is the ideal location for a steampunk event. Past festivals have drawn an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 visitors, making it one of the largest steampunk gatherings in the U.S.
If you couldn’t make it this year, we have the next best thing: A gallery of Curt’s photos from the festival. You can see more in this Flickr album and on the Friends of Big River Festival Facebook page.