The 2015 Big River Steampunk Festival kicked off with a parade in downtown Hannibal on Saturday morning. Even Mark Twain got in on the fun! We were able to capture footage of the parade as it made the turn from Broadway to Main Street.

The Big River Steampunk Festival began last year. It was originally to only be a one-day event, but expanded to two days at the last minute. The festival was so popular that it has expanded to cover all three days of the Labor Day weekend in 2015.

There are Steampunk-related activities taking place at various locations in downtown Hannibal, but the main festival locations are along the riverfront at Nipper Park and Kiwanis Park. A few of the events scheduled for the weekend include:

• Entertainers from Chicago, Wichita, Kansas City, Florida, etc.

• Vendors from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maryland, etc.

• Premiere of a special Steampunk play, written and produced by Gary Gibbons who is from Hannibal but now lives in Hong Kong

• Tea Dueling, a popular contest fun for all ages

• Ballroom dancing lessons that will take place in the street of the 200 block of Main Street, which will be completely open as Pedestrian-Only with no cars, tents or other obstructions to the beautiful ambiance of the architecture of Main Street

• An 1870s Base Ball Tournament is being planned

• Robert Snow, a gentleman who’s written a book about his life regression experiences as James Carroll Beckwith (who was born in Hannibal in 1852) will be doing a presentation and autographing copies of his book, Looking for Carroll Beckwith

• Maker’s Room where one can learn hands-on how to make Steampunk gadgets and costume accessories

Steampunk is a literary genre simply defined as "Victorian science fiction." Lisa Marks with the Hannibal History Museum described The Big River Steampunk Festival in this way: "Think 'Renaissance Faire,' but rather than medieval England it’s Victorian America."

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