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Steampunk Heads West With Events in Washington and Northern California

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The North American steampunk calendar is shifting west this weekend with one gathering in North Central Washington state and two more in Northern California. All three will be happening largely outdoors.

Steampunk Rendezvous

This is a loosely organized free event where the setting – Wild West-themed Winthrop, Washington – will be a main attraction. “The purpose of the Rendezvous is to keep the schedule casual and focus on hanging out together in a great family-friendly location,” the organizers say. “Plan projects, get to know each other better, trade gear, enjoy food and fun, this is the gig.”

Scheduled activities include:

• The Friday Night Shindig, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Methow Valley Ciderhouse, with live old-time music by Dumpster Joe;

• A potluck barbecue and gear swap on Saturday evening, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.;

• A photo shoot on Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Shafer Museum with photographer Maria Lackey. Her charge will be $50 per person.

Otherwise, visitors are free to roam town and visit attractions such as the museum, Winthrop’s Main Street, the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, the Duck Brand Hotel and Restaurant, and Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon.

Winthrop is about 180 miles northwest of Spokane and 190 miles northeast of Seattle. Learn more on the website and Facebook page.

Colfax Railroad Days

This free event takes place Saturday and Sunday in downtown Colfax, California. It celebrates the city’s role in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.

The Sacramento Steampunk Society will have an encampment both days on Railroad Street with three tents: A British Expedition, Traveling Egyptian Exhibition, and Nautilus Expedition.

Other attractions include railroad displays, a working blacksmith shop, craft vendors, living history re-enactors, live music, and performances by the Black Flag Gang, a Wild West-themed theatrical troupe.

The city is in Placer County, about 50 miles northeast of Sacramento. See the website, festival Facebook page, and Sacramento Steampunk Society Facebook page for more info.


This will be the first year for the music and arts festival, which takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Marin Center in San Rafael, California.

For steampunk fans, a major attraction will be Kinetic Steam Works, an Oakland-based group that creates steam-powered kinetic art. They plan to bring an assortment of steam-powered contraptions, including Pappy the tractor, a C&P letterpress, the Gear Wall, and a snow cone machine.

Snow cone machine? These are the same folks who once brought a steam-powered pencil sharpener to the Bay Area Maker Faire.

The letterpress and Gear Wall will be familiar to Bay Area steampunk fans who attended the Edwardian Ball and World’s Fair in 2020. TreasureFest will be the group’s first public appearance since then.

The festival will also feature other art installations as well as craft/vintage vendors, food vendors, and live music.

Saturday’s music lineup consists of Matt Jaffe, Michelle Lambert, Trace Repeat, and Cello Joe. Sunday’s bill features The Rudians, Island of Black and White, and Shovel Man.

TreasureFest is presented by Ansanelli Productions, which previously organized the Treasure Island Flea Market in San Francisco. The company originally planned to launch the event in May 2020, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Tickets cost $20 when purchased online or $25 at the gate. The venue is at 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903, in Marin County.

Learn more on the website and Facebook page.

Artist info: 

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