Wild West Steam Fest Comes to OC
Music, comedy, workshops, films, and cosplay are on tap at this outdoor steampunk festival
Steampunk will meet the Old West, along with a dash of Star Wars, as the Wild West Steam Fest returns to the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, California, on Saturday, May 5. The event, held mostly outdoors, will feature live entertainment, workshops, film screenings, and about two-dozen vendors.
Cosplay group Star Wars Steampunk Universe will be on hand, portraying steampunk versions of Star Wars characters. Each year, the group raises awareness of a chosen charity, and this time it's Mercy House, which provides housing and support services to homeless people.
Scheduled performers include "Extreme Circus Duo" SwingShift SideShow, whose act is described as "classic carnival entertainment" brought "screaming into the 21st Century." Bank of Harmony will offer its combination of comedy and "funky barbershop" tunes. Tribe Roman Morga will present Gypsy-inspired music and dance. Also on tap are keyboardist/vocalist Dr. Deaman Diapason, and AliceBot's Imaginarium, a playground of wind-up toys, stereoscopes and other gadgets.
Panels will include "Steampunk Flight Academy," where "The Iron Tailor" Bob Mogg will show how to make a steampunk flight pack. A Victorian Photography workshop will explore how people of that era performed trick photography, pre-Photoshop. "Nostrabobus the Great Graphologist" will demonstrate the art of handwriting analysis. The makers behind Steampunk Public will provide hands-on instruction in how to paint a steampunk raygun. The latter session costs $5 for supplies and is limited to 25 participants.
K.D. Younger will offer a portrayal of Old West figure Calamity Jane that's for mature audiences only.
The event will also include screenings of two short films, "Love in the Age of Steam" and "Steamwrecked." Both will be accompanied by Q&As.
This is the festival's fifth anniversary and its third time at the Heritage Museum, which is home to the Victorian-era H. Clay Kellogg House. The event will include tours of the house, which was built in 1898 and is notable for a ship's mast that rises through the center of the structure.
For its first two years, the festival was held in the Calico Ghost Town near Barstow, California.
Event organizer Noele Shannon expects the attendance to be between 500 and 1500. She's also planning to bring a Victorian-themed Halloween event to the museum later this year.
Tickets are $30 for adults, $24 for youth, and $15 for a half day. The museum is located at 3101 W. Harvard St., Santa Ana, CA 92704.
Photos (from top): Steampunk Wookie (photo © Michael Jaynes), Dr. Deaman Diapason, AliceBot's Imaginarium. Photos used by permission of Wild West Steam Fest.