Art by Alex Xpike
Steampunk Hands Around the World is an annual event hosted by the Airship Ambassador, when steampunk bloggers join together to discuss, well, steampunk. This year’s theme is Road Trip, and focuses on the community that is steampunk, and the local and regional groups and events it has inspired.
I personally have been to two steampunk events. The first is the Enchanted City, the annual steampunk street fest in Troy, NY that takes place in late summer/early fall. The second is the Leonard Oakes Steampunk Festival, a festival held at the Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in late summer.
I love the Enchanted City for several reasons. First, it’s held in the city where I was born. Second, part of the day overlaps with the marvelous Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market, a farmers’ market that has ruined me for all other farmers’ markets due its location, number and variety of vendors, and general street fair vibe. Third, the Enchanted City promotes STEM education and creativity through events like the Inventor’s Challenge and the Mini Maker Fair.
The Leonard Oakes Steampunk Festival has a very different vibe. While it’s still a very kid-friendly event, it does take place at a winery, and guests are encouraged to imbibe (especially their excellent Steampunk Cider). There are fewer vendors, and to focus is more on the entertainment, which last year included belly dancers, fire dancers, and a line-up of live bands on a large stage.
An event I haven’t been to yet, but look forward to attending in the future, is the Flights of Fantasy event at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodome. This event just started in 2017 and is hosted at a museum of antique aircraft, many of which are operational. The event last year even included an air show and offered biplane rides!