Let the fun begin! The Big River Steampunk Main Street Parade and Opening Ceremonies kick off three days of festivities, fantasy and phantasmagoria.
The parade, which steps off at Central Park at Fourth and Broadway at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, will make its grand promenade along Main Street, featuring the amazing cast of characters that will appear throughout the weekend’s festivities. If you’re decked out in your Steampunk splendor, gear and regalia, feel free to join in the procession.
Immediately after the parade, the cortege of Queen Victoria will make its way to the Main Street Stage at the corner of Bird and Main streets, where Her Royal Highness will welcome all to the Opening Ceremonies of the Big River Steampunk Festival. A trumpet fanfare and special appearances by dignitaries will signal the beginning of the festivities.
Visitors will have a special opportunity to visit some of the magnificent Victorian homes and architecturally significant buildings of Hannibal on the Historic Hannibal Home and Architectural Tour.
The tour is from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, and starts at Hannibal History Museum, 200 N. Main.
Some of the most beautiful, and unusual, locations in Hannibal will open their doors and share their history and stories. Mansions situated on Millionaires’ Row in the Central Park Historic District, Victorian-era buildings in the Main Street and Broadway historic districts and homes tucked around the bluffs surrounding downtown are just some of the locations available for viewing.
Homeowners and caretakers will greet and escort you through their private spaces for $10 per person.
Three teams from Illinois and Missouri will come together at Clemens Field to play old-time baseball — or, as it was called in the 19th century — base ball.
The 1870s Vintage Base Ball Three-Team Tournament will feature the St. Louis Unions, Mexico Graceland Ghosts and Springfield Long Nine with historically accurate equipment and 19th-century rules.
Games begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at Historic Clemens Field.
For $5, visitors will have the opportunity to experience a true, Victorian-era ball game, and watch the game from the field, just as they did in the old days.
Spats and Sprockets Afternoon Tea and Parlor Games at the Mark Twain Museum Gallery serves gourmet teas and delectable treats.
The event is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at Mark Twain Museum Gallery, second floor, 120 N. Main.
In attendance are some hilarious friends from “across the pond” — Miss Molly Parvenue and HMS Trufflebottome.
The event usually is sold out before the festival begins, so reservations are recommended. Tickets are $15 per person, and may be purchased at bigriversteampunkfesival.com.
Splendid Teapot Racing, a sport that began in New Zealand, is quickly spreading around the world.
It is an obstacle course of candlesticks, ramps and a gateway that must be traversed using a remote-controlled teapot. These RC teapots can be a wonderful outlet for creative energies. The Official Big River Steampunk Festival Teapot Racing Obstacle Course —BRSFTROC — will be found on Main Street with races taking place both Saturday and Sunday.
The origins of the Cake Walk are thought to have been developed on plantations in the South during Sunday afternoon get-togethers. Mimicking those in the “Big House,” dancers would prance and promenade in comic fashion in a “chalkline walk” or “walk-around” to entertain one another, with the prize of a delicious cake being given to one lucky couple.
A revival of this Victorian art form will be presented on Hannibal’s historic Main Street on Saturday and Sunday — practice your moves and strut your stuff, you might just take the cake.
Those with a special set of whiskers, a well-waxed mustache or an amazing pair of mutton chops can show off their fabulous facial hair at the Big River Steampunk Festival’s Facial Hair Contest. The contest will be Saturday, Sept. 3, and entry is free.
Most entrants will be men, but the contest is open to all. Facial hair must be authentically grown by the entrant.
The best facial hair will receive $25 in Big River Fun Money to be redeemed at any merchant’s tent along the Great Midway and a one-of-a-kind 2015 Big River Steampunk Festival Medal of Honor to tell the world you have the best facial hair at the festival.
For those who love to take pictures of events, the Big River Steampunk Festival has a contest for you. Visitors will be asked to send photos from the 2016 event to be judged, with a best-in-show winner receiving two all-access passes to the 2017 Steampunk Festival.
Those wishing to enter the contest may send photos to Info@BigRiverSteampunkFestival.com .
Finalists will be selected each day of the festival, with a winner being announced no later than Wednesday, Sept. 7. Entries must be received no later than midnight Monday, Sept. 5.