Almost all the events in fast-growing, four-day festival are family-friendly.
Anyone hoping to attend a performance in Dr. Frankenstein’s Laboratory during Hannibal’s Sept. 1 through 4 Big River Steampunk Festival may need to order their tickets soon.
Lisa Marks of the sponsoring Hannibal History Museum reported on Monday, Aug. 28, that tickets are sold out for the Saturday, Sept. 2, performance, but the show will be repeated at noon and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday at Bluff City Theater, 212 Broadway.
This show will feature Professor Sparks, aka John “Grizzy” Grzywacz, who will demonstrate high voltage special effects used in vintage Frankenstein movies. “He will be throwing arcs of electricity across the stage,” Marks said.
Ticket information is on the website BigRiverSteampunkFestival.com or tickets may be purchased at the Hannibal History Museum at North Main and Center Streets.
Another new event for which tickets are needed is a masquerade party Saturday evening at the Star Theater, 215 S. Main St. Marks said this is a family event, and people need not dress in costume.
It will begin at 6 p.m., with a Steampunk Haute Couture Fashion Show at 6:30 p.m. and at 7 p.m. performances by two Steampunk bands, making their local debut. Both bands have performed at numerous Steampunk festivals and are recording artists, Marks said.
The festival includes seminars, contests and entertainment featuring the Victorian era and the Industrial Revolution. At Planters Barn Theater, performances and seminars will continue each day, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. At 6 p.m. Sunday it will host The Big River Murder Mystery.
The schedule of events and locations is available on the website and also in the festival booklet, which is on the website. The booklet is available at local businesses, including the Hannibal History Museum.
Contests for the public include costume contests at 1:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and a facial hair contest at 2 p.m. Sunday, all at the Main Street Stage in the 200 block of North Main. The facial hair contest is so popular, Marks said, that “men work the whole year getting in it.”
Children especially enjoy competing in the teapot races, she said. To make a teapot racer, she said, “Take the top off of a remote control car, and add a real teapot, and bring it to the festival. The instructions are on a video on the website.”
Last year, Marks reported, “We had a young lady who saw the race on Saturday and went home and built a racer. She came back Sunday and won the race.”
The festival begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Cave Hollow West Winery at Mark Twain Cave, with the Inaugural Meeting of the Society for Fermented Alchemy, where traveling Steampunkers will gather and meet the public.
A premium event repeated this year will be the Time Traveler’s Ball at 9 p.m. Sunday aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat.
Marks noted that nearly all the events, both free and premium, are family-oriented. The one exception is the Burley Que show at 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Finn’s Food and Spirits, 214 N. Main, which is for ages 21 and over.
As preparations for the four-day festival continue, a large clock stand is under construction by Mark Lockett with the help of Paul Miller at the Hannibal History Museum parking lot. It will be moved to the street for the festival. “We wanted a centerpiece to serve several purposes,” Marks explained. “It will have a donation box for the museum. A lot of the events are free, and we are hoping people will be generous and donate to the museum, because that’s the purpose of the festival, to support the museum.”
Marks added she “would like to say thanks to the sponsors, vendors, volunteers and guests of the festival, because without their support, we would not be able to do what we do for the city of Hannibal, and we are grateful for their help.”
Reach reporter Bev Darr at firstname.lastname@example.org.