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2017 Big River Steampunk Festival update

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2017 Big River Steampunk Festival update

    • Missus Tea

      Hey all, I couldn’t figure out how to close up my old thread, and didn’t want to keep dragging it out so I just started a new one for this year’s event. I was in Hannibal last weekend to see my uncle(I’ve mentioned before that he’s been dealing with cancer for almost two years now and we went down to see him over the weekend again-he’s not doing so well so….).

      Anyway, after we visited with him, we wandered downtown and into the Hannibal History Museum and Ken was working-he and his wife Lisa are the two masterminds behind the BRSF. I asked about when he thought the schedule for events would be up and he said they are hoping to have it up by the end of this month or the first week of July. He said his wife had it all on her laptop and she was out of town for the week or he would have posted it already.

      We also talked about how this year’s event would compare with last year’s as far as events and who would be there. There WILL be some repeats-Doc Phinneas will be there again, as well as Little Beard and Jell E Bean and Airship Isabella. If any of you follow Doc on FB or Twitter, he posted in early winter his schedule for the year and said for sure he would be in Hannibal. He really REALLY likes Hannibal and it’s old buildings and history, he’s even come back to just visit and hang out during his off time.(

      One of the changes from last year will be that there won’t be a Pub Crawl on Friday night. Instead, there will be a more intimate meet and greet with some of the people who will be doing the events at the winery at the Mark Twain Cave complex. It’s probably a better idea to have us all at one location, instead of wandering around a 6 block area getting drunk anyway. AND Lisa and Ken got an indoor venue for the concert and other events-it’s the old Star Theater, and it’s really a cool place-it’s barely changed since it was built over 100 years ago so it will give the events held there a more authentic feel. A concert as well as several workshops and a fashion show will be held there-the owners say it has a capacity of 700, but Ken says 400 is probably more realistic if we all don’t want to be sitting on each others laps. Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings will be one of the musical guests performing there. Ken did not mention who else would be there. 

      There had been rumors of Steampowered  Giraffe being there and Ken said that yes, they had been talking to them, but there was a scheduling conflict and they unfortunately could not get the details worked out. Maybe next year…

      Anyway, here’s the link to the BRSF main site again- and for the Hannibal History Hope there is a decent Toy Soldier showing this year!

    • Missus Tea

      Update from the Friends of the Big River Steampunk  Festival FaceBook page-two more acts/events. Professor Sparks will be having a show with all his electrical devices and another musical guest will be This Way to the Egress.  And there will be a cabaret/vaudville show and the Burley-Que will be back. They haven’t said WHO will be in those, but if Little Beard is there, he and his dirty pirates will be there and who doesn’t love foul mouthed pirates and scantily clad ladies?

    • Missus Tea

      Another update. We may have a table in the Airship Village for the weekend. I need to confirm with Melissa-she posted on our FB page about it. I will look into ordering pencils or stickers or fun stuff to hand out to people. Also, do we still have any thing propaganda-wise that I could save and print out to make fliers or bookmarks. I remember there being stuff like that back in the Dr Steel days, but does it still have his logo on it and not our new one? I would prefer to have fliers with our current logo on it to hand out. I still have my old pin and patch, but I can order new ones for a uniform.

      So if we do for sure have a table, any other midwestern soldiers want to come help us man it? I mean, I have no problem spending time spreading the good word, but it’s a three day event, and there is stuff I want to go see and do too. Two middle aged women is not an army, though I’m sure if provoked, we could kick some major ass. It would be great to meet more fellow Soldiers face to face.

    • I still have to get the days off from work, but I plan on coming.


      There is propaganda with the new logo. Just scroll up to the top of the website and click on propaganda. There are bookmarks and flyers and such. 

    • Missus Tea

      Yeah, I found it all about half an hour after I made the last post. I really shouldn’t post stuff at 3am when I’m half asleep. 

      UPDATE! The site has been updated with all the premium events (with prices, as well as an all inclusive bundle that gets you tickets for ALL the premium events, plus a goodie bag and VIP seating for a couple of those events) and all the free events that will be going on. I’ve already got the bundles for hubby and I! 

      So, if you’re thinking of going and wanting to do some of the premium events-the Masquerade, Time Traveler’s Ball, Burley Q and the Steam-feld Follies, Afternoon Tea, Murder Mystery and a few others, go check it out. I should remind people that the Burley Q and the event at the Winery on Friday are 21+ only, so that’s something to think about. Most of the rest of it is appropriate for most ages, though if you have really little littles, they might be bored, or it may run past their bedtimes as some of the events are later in the evening.

       And if you are more than a couple of hours away, be thinking about hotels now. Last year the Best Western, which is just two blocks from downtown, was booked solid, and so were some of the hotels/motels farther afield. Last year there was some high school sports thing going on that weekend so there were kids from all over the state so the hotels filled up fast. There are also several nice bed and breakfasts close by, but those run $120+ a night, and might not be good for groups, just couples. I already have my rooms booked(or rather, my sister in law booked them, but we’re covered for this year either way) at the Best Western, because it’s really nice to be able to get up, get ready and walk 5 minutes and be right downtown where everything is going on. Hannibal has the Best Western, Day’s Inn, Super 8, Quality Inn and Suites, Econo Lodge, Sleep Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn and Motel 6. There’s one called Hannibal Inn-I would NOT suggest that one, it’s pretty ratty and run down and no one I know who has stayed there has had anything good to say about it. Day’s Inn is good, so is Quality Inn and Suites, and Day’s Inn still has smoking rooms, or they did two years ago-that may have changed by now. Some of the B&Bs are the Dubach Inn(I’ve stayed there and it’s really nice, the people who run it are so cool and it runs about $125 a night), Reagan’s Queen Anne, The Garden House, The Belvedere and Garth Woodside Mansion-that one is outside of town, but it’s way expensive but Mark Twain stayed there back in the day and you can stay in the room he stayed in so…

      Anyway, check out for a total list of hotels, b&bs and campgrounds as well as restaurants and stores in and around Hannibal if you’re interested. 

      Hope to see several of you there this year!

    • Missus Tea

      Ok, I was finally able to get logged into and get onto the forums, but I had to get my old laptop out and do it, after sitting through 6 months worth of updates. So here goes, Missus Tea reporting in from the 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival….

      After a bit of phone tag with Granny, and a two hour delay getting on the road, the Mister and I made it into Hannibal Friday afternoon, got our VIP tickets and goodie bags and got checked into our hotel. Thank the goddess for those huge luggage trollies or it would have taken 4 trips to get all our junk into the room, which was of course on the third floor. BUT, this time they did get all three of our rooms together instead of spread over two floors like they did last year. Brian and I had a room to ourselves *winkwinknudgenudge*, Kathy and Doug and Tina and Rachel(K and T are hubby’s sisters, Doug is the brother in law and Rachel is my niece) had the next room and Tommy, Tonia, Jake and Savannah(Tommy is Rachel’s big bro, Tonia is his wife and Jake and Savannah are friends) had the last room. We all wanted to make sure Tonia had her own room because she takes literally FOREVER to do her makeup in the morning. Last year, she legit spent an hour every morning just on her face, that was not counting the hair. High maintenance is not apt enough a description for her. So we all got checked in, and then went to go get snacks and stuff for our rooms, since the rooms at the Best Western on the River have fridges and microwaves in them. Ran into my sisters at Wal Mart also getting goodies-they were staying out at the lake with my cousin Mark and his family. Everyone was in town for our annual reunion and plus, my uncle finally lost his battle with cancer and his funeral was on Saturday.

      The first offic ial event of the weekend was the First Annual Meeting of the Society for Fermented Alchemy, or a wine tasting and meet and greet at the winery out at the Mark Twain Caves. Previous years have had pub crawls, which have been fun, but having a lot of people wandering around downtown Hannibal drunk isn’t always a good idea and so this way we were all in one location, which by the way, is a rather nice little winery near the campgrounds and entrance to the caves. Some of the entertainers and vendors for the event were there, including Doc Phinneas, aka Kenneth Kastler and Thomas Willeford and Amy Wilder. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Thomas or Amy, but did get a chance to talk with Doc later in the evening. I did make a couple of new friends in Brandy and Kevin Jaquet though. Brandy was one of the photographers for the event, and I’ve posted a bunch of her pix on our FB page. She also went to Truman State University, where I went, but she graduated in 2006, where I graduated in 1997. Small world huh?

      Saturday morning, I stopped by our tent at the Airship Village and dropped off the candy and stuff and left Melissa aka Granny Grunt to man the tent while I went to get ready for my uncle’s funeral. I’ll spare you all the details, but there were a lot of people there and it was good to see so many friends and family there to see him off on his next great adventure.

      We got back to the hotel arounnd 11:30 and got dressed. Gentleman Artist Mr Thomas and  his absinthe fairy Thujonia were very popular, we got stopped SO MANY TIMES for pix. It was crazy. Met up with Granny and went to Afternoon Tea with Doc Phinneas around 2ish. It was fun, but kind of disappointing compared to last year’s tea. I guess I like a more substantial tea, and while his talk was interesting, the food was pretty, but not very much. We did get some nice teacups and saucers as souvineers though. She left to go meet up with her family and we wandered around the Midway, went to the Steamfeld Follies and had supper before the Masquerade at 7. If you are ever in Hannibal and are hungry, check out Old Planter’s Restaurant-their dinner menu is amazing. Too bad I was in a corset and so couldn’t eal all of my delicious dinner.

      There was a fashion show before the Masquerade, but we missed it and most of the first band, Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings. We also experienced the second “venue had no clue how many people would atually be there and wanting food and beverages” for the weekend. There was a HUGE line for the bar and only two very swamped bartenders. There was also supposed to be food, light appetizer type stuff and I talked to several people that said unless you got there right at 6, it was almost impossible to get waited on or get anything without waiting at least 45 minutes. We managed to get drinks and two seats at the bar and watched the second band, This Way to the Egress. They are so cool- they have a tuba player, and he was headbanging! Left the Masquerade a bit before 10 and wandered downtown to see what else was going on. Happened to run into Little Beard and some of his dirty pirate Skallawags and talked to them for a while. Thujonia introduced one of them to the joys of absinthe. I love sharing :)

      Sunday morning we got dressed in our same outfits again because we wanted to enter the costume contest and missed Saturday’s due to the funeral. We didn’t figure we’d make it as there were a lot of really good outfits, but we did(maybe bribing our judges Amy and Violet with pins that Brian made and some absinthe helped *winkwink*). Unfortunately, I guess backpacks with gadgets and gears were in this year and we lost to this really awesome Ghostbuster guy. Went back to the hotel, changed into regular clothes and went out to my cousin Mark’s for the reunion. We got there late and it was mostly just immediate family but that was fine. Headed back into town around 5 to eat and get ready for the Time Traveler’s Ball on the riverboat and the burlesque show later that night. 

      The Ball was fun, but the boat is really small for a riverboat, and there was not very much room to sit, much less dance. The band that night was Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers and they were kind of a swing-style band. We spent a lot of time on the upper deck outside. And this was round three of “venue had no idea how many people there would be wanting food and drink” of the weekend. There never was any food, even though it had been advertized that there would be and again, there were only two swamped bartenders and a lot of people spent most of their time wating in line for drinks. There was a little bar upstairs that wasnt even manned. Talk about wasted opportunities. Luckily, maybe, Brian and I had a flask of absinthe and proceded to get happily buzzed. 

      The boat docked around 10:30 and we made our way to Finn’s and the burlesque show. Where we proceded to go from happily buzzed to hammered. Kathy and Doug skipped out about half an hour in, with the advice to not come back to the room for at least an hour*winnkwinknudgenudge* but we were all having too much fun at the show. Amy Wilder put on a great show, as did Darling Violet, Sio Bast and Eva La Feva. Sanjula Vermana did some tricks with various body parts and a fan and Little Beard and his Skallawags sang some dirty pirate songs. After the show, I got autographs from Sio, Eva and Violet but didn’t get a chance to get Amy’s. I also got a pic with Sammy Tramp, the absolutely adorable host of the show(and Violet’s gf). I hope she didn’t mind me hugging her but she was just so funny and amazing and I tend to get huggy when I get drunk so…. there may be pix of me hugging Sammy and kissing her on the cheek.

      After the show, where I managed to stumble out of Finn’s with one of their copper mule mugs, so yeah, I drunkenly stole a mug I guess, we dropped our stuff off at the hotel and for the second year in a row drunkenly made our way up the 200+ stairs up to the lighthouse on the cliff-me, Brian, Rachel and three new friends Brady, his wife Christen and their buddy who’s name I never did get but I have pix so yes, it did happen. Did I mention that I was in my floorlength dress and corset when we did this? Brian had joked with Rachel earlier in the day that there was not enough whiskey in the world to make him do that again, but there apparently IS enough vodka and absinthe. So yeah, that happened. I remember getting back to our room, and somehow getting the corset and dress off and passing out. We did not make it down to breakfast Monday morning. If I could have slept until 1pm I would have gladly done so, but we had to check out at 11am so we slowly made our way out. 

      We were going to dress up again, but hangovers trump getting dressed up so we just checked out and walked down to downtown to see what was going on. Melissa wasn’t at the tent yet so we hit the midway to pick up any things we wanted to buy before leaving town and made sure we got any stuff we wanted from the official BRSF booth. Had lunch at the Rustic Oak, though I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to be able to eat anything until I saw they had a soup/salad/baked potato bar so I did that and it was amazingly yummy. Remembered about 30 miles out of town that I left my lawn chair at our tent and texed Melissa that she had a new chair. Stopped at La Grange and the Mark Twain Casino and lost $40. Did I  mention that Friday night my sister in law Kathy went to the casino after they left the winery and won $1400 at the casino? Lucky duck.

      Got home in Iowa around 5ish and found a dead possum in our back yard. Dogs thrilled to have us home. Left most of our stuff in the car for the night because we just wanted to sleep in our own bed. Thanked the goddess that we remembered to ask for Tuesday off. Getting old sucks, hangovers suck.

      Fun sidenote. Monday night Amy Wilder posted on the Girls of Steampunk page and posted a clip from her performance Sunday night. I made a comment about being too drunk and not getting a good pic of it  and about half an hour later, she PMed me! And sent me the full video of her show. That anyone else who wants to see it has to pay to see on her Patreon page. I’m still doing the Kermit the Frog flailing over it. If you ask nicely, I may share it with you. 

      So, seriously guys, how many of you are going to join Granny and I next year? 

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