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Calendar: River City Expo, Steampunk Alchemy, Steampunk Visions

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

A new steampunk convention is happening this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, while the Freaky Mutant Weirdo fest will return under new branding and a museum in Virginia will host a steampunk art exposition.

River City Steampunk Expo

“Steampunk in the Shadows” is the theme for this new event, scheduled for May 31-June 2 at the Holiday Inn East, Hurstbourne, in Louisville, Kentucky.

The organizer describes it as “an interactive exploration into the dark side of the steam era, bringing together the strange intersection of gothic horror and gothic romance.”

The program includes panels, workshops, gaming, stage entertainment, teapot racing, a fashion show, and multiple forms of dueling (tea, umbrellas, and nerf guns).

To encourage room parties, the organizer will also host a “best party room” competition. Winners will have an opportunity to host a party in the concierge suite at next year’s convention.

Guests include steampunk artist Brett King, authors Leanna Renee Hieber and Dana Fraedrich, mixologist Calamity Dawn, fire performer Steampunk Xena, and tea mavens Madame Askew and The Grand Arbiter.

Pirate band The Minstrel Rav’n will perform on Friday and Saturday evening.

King, along with fellow makers James Neathery and Jeff Church, will present “Steampunk My Ride,” in which they transform the mobility devices of three attendees. Working over the weekend, the makers will build removable steampunk-style frames that will not hinder use of the devices, they say. The attendees can then show off the devices in a parade on Sunday.

The complete schedule is posted on the website.

Weekend passes cost $75 and include access to panels, entertainment, and workshops. Day passes are also available. For $125, you can purchase a VIP pass that includes a swag bag, personalized photo shoot, breakfast coupons, and front row seating for entertainment. The organizers are also offering access to a weekend-long tea lounge for $25.

See the website for more info.

Steampunk Alchemy Fest

The Freaky Mutant Weirdo Festival has been reborn under a new name that makes its steampunk leanings clear. It consists of two separately ticketed events: A family-friendly daytime festival followed by an adults-only evening cabaret.

Daytime performers include A Halo Called Fred, The Dust Bowl Faeries, This Way to the Egress, and Big Whimsy. The Munchausen Society will present interactive storytelling and Knights of Acre will re-create a medieval battle. Steampunk vendors will also be on hand.

The evening cabaret program includes dinner, comedy, burlesque, and another performance by A Halo Called Fred, featuring “songs that are FAR too filthy for the daytime.”

General admission tickets for the daytime festival cost $25 for adults and $10 for youth (under 18). Kids under 12 will be admitted for free. Tickets for the evening cabaret cost $30. Single-tent camping passes are available for $30.

It takes place Saturday, June 1, at Vasa Park, 1 Vasa Dr., Hackettstown, NJ 07840. The daytime program runs from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., followed by the cabaret from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Freaky Mutant Weirdo Festival, first known as the Freaky Mutant Weirdo Variety Show, was the brainchild of Adam Dickinson, aka Geverend Dee, leader of A Halo Called Fred. With the re-branding, he has taken a new role as Entertainment Director.

Learn more on the website and Facebook page.

Steampunk: Visions of Futures Past

The Hampton History Museum in Hampton, Virginia will host this steampunk art exposition, featuring works by Dave Lee of Hatton Cross Steampunk and Mike Parodi of Master Creations Enterprises, as well as merchants from A Steampunked Life. It takes place June 1 and 2 as part of the Blackbeard Pirate Festival.

The artists “return with new contraptions, conveyances to display and demonstrate, and accouterments for purchase, to conjure up a time when airships were commonplace and steam power ruled the world; an alternative Victorian era and an imagined Wild West frontier,” states the event description.

Admission is free. The museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669. Learn more on the museum website and event Facebook page.

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