A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons, in accordance with agreed-upon rules. The duel is based on a code of honor, not so much to kill the opponent, but to gain “satisfaction”, that is, to restore one’s honor by demonstrating a willingness to risk one’s life. Fortunately, Big River duels are not literally “To the Death” but are still very serious business!

Photo by Karin Woodruff

TEA Dueling

Tea dueling is the art of gracefully dunking a tea biscuit (known as a cookie in the United States) into a “Cup of Brown Joy”, soaking it for five seconds, and then lifting it into one’s mouth for a clean “Nom” (as in nom-nom-nom...!) -- all without dripping tea, losing biscuit fragments into the tea or on the table, and doing so after your fellow duelist.


With your host Dr. Phineas T. Kastle and Rosanne Roy


Parasol Dueling

A raucous battle of wits, in the same genre as Rock-Paper-Scissors, this no-contact contest requires patience, strategy, and just a teensy bit of skill. Those who participate will learn the art of the “Plant”, the “Snub”, and the “Twirl” in an effort to outfox their opponents. Full instructions will be given and numerous rounds will be held until one supreme parasol-welding champion is crowned!



NERF Dueling

In a recreation of a 19th century duel, contestants will use specially-designed Steampunk weapons repurposed from Nerf guns. The soft darts will render contestants eliminated yet in no way harmed. For each duel, two duelists will stand back-to-back using the specially-crafted pistols. At the drop of a ladies handkerchief, they will advance seven paces, turn, and shoot. If an opponent is hit by a dart, he or she is eliminated. If both are hit, or if both miss, a rematch will commence.


With your hosts RUST L.A.R.P.


Photo by Brandy Jaquet

Big River Steampunk Festival

is Presented By:

Ken and Lisa Marks

Co-Founders, Hannibal History Museum

200 N. Main Street

Hannibal, MO 63401

(573) 248-1819


a 501(c)(3) Missouri non-profit corporation

Federal ID (EIN): 46-4772316

IRS DLN# 17053062337044

Website Design by Second Empire Productions

Copyright (c) 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

All Rights Reserved

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 Please acknowledge our Scheduling, Copyrights and Trademarks Policies:



Big River Steampunk Festival, the Big River Steampunk Festival logo, and other names, logos, icons and marks identifying Big River Steampunk Festival products and services are trademarks of Ken and Lisa Marks, co-founders of the Hannibal History Museum, and may not be used without the acquisition of prior written permission.  All rights not expressly granted in this agreement are reserved to the Ken and Lisa Marks. You may not post, distribute, reproduce, or sell in any way, any copyrighted material, trademarks, or other proprietary information that you do not have legal authorization to use. Although not anticipated, necessary changes to the Schedule of Events, products offered, and any other advertised offerings may be made without prior notice. A portion of the proceeds from the Big River Steampunk Festival benefit the Hannibal History Museum Foundation, a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.