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Steampunk Fest Returns to Central PA

The Steampunk and Fantasy Showcase will offer an expanded program of panels and workshops

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Leanna Renee Hieber and Stephen Chapman
Leanna Renee Hieber and Stephen Chapman are among the guest speakers at the Steampunk and Fantasy Showcase.

The Steampunk Showcase, now dubbed the Steampunk and Fantasy Showcase, will return to Central Pennsylvania Nov. 16 and 17 with a line-up of speakers that include authors Mark Donnelly, Leanna Renee Hieber, and Thom Truelove, plus makers Thomas Willeford, Stephen Chapman, Wheeler Stone, Brian Fadrosh, and Tobias McCurry. This is the second year for the event, which will also feature entertainment by Nightwatch Paradox, Karnevil, Keith Engle, Mikey Mason, and Bubblepop Burlesque.

About 40 vendors will be selling apparel, jewelry, accessories, and other steampunk wares.

Organizer Allen Chung said the new name reflects his goal of making the event more inclusive. “I see some [steampunk events] drifting into just Victorian or Wild West themes and losing the fantasy element,” he said.

The program will feature three rooms of panels and workshops. However, sessions in the Inspire Room will be limited to attendees with VIP passes. They include “Death & Taxes” and “Dueling Through History” with Donnelly, and maker sessions with Chapman, Stone, and Fadrosh. Duana Gummo will discuss “Victorian Undergarments.”

The other rooms, Integrity A and B, will be open to all attendees. Speakers here will include Willeford, Truelove, Stone, and McCurry. Hieber, author of The Eterna Files, Strangely Beautiful, The Spectral City, and other historical fantasy works, will offer book signings on both days. Other sessions will cover women’s costume design, hair clips, medal making, how to paint a nerf gun, and “Self eSTEAM in Steampunk.”

The website includes a schedule.

Contests on Sunday will recognize the best costume, gadget/contraption, accessory/prop, and jewelry, with cash prizes in each category. There is no cost to enter, but you must register by 4 p.m. Saturday.

The event will also have ongoing nerf gun dueling at 10 paces. Participants must bring their own guns and register with the duel master. The loser of each duel “must buy the winner a drink at the bar,” the rules state.

Nightwatch Paradox
Night Watch Paradox

Night Watch Paradox will perform two acoustic sets without drums. They’ll play one on Saturday afternoon for all attendees, followed by a Saturday evening Dinner Theatre performance. The Dinner Theatre, which requires an add-on ticket, will also include a mentalism show, Karnevil Sideshow, and the “comedy geek rock” of Mikey Mason. Then Bubblepop Burlesque will perform at a VIP After Party for attendees 18 or older.

Engle, who plays the Irish fiddle and phonofiddle, will perform throughout the weekend for general admission attendees.

General admission tickets cost $20 for Saturday, $18 for Sunday, or $35 for both days. This includes access to panels in the Integrity rooms, but not the VIP sessions in the Inspire room. Tickets for the Saturday evening Dinner Theatre cost $75 with dinner or $40 without. A VIP weekend pass with admission to all panels and shows costs $150.

It all takes place at the Spooky Nook Sports Center, 75 Champ Blvd., Manheim, PA 17545. The venue is about 10 miles west of Lancaster, 80 miles west of Philadelphia, and 75 miles north of Baltimore. See the website and Facebook page for more info.

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