Please enjoy these events with our compliments!


Click on the titles below to be directed to detailed descriptions of each event.


The fun begins on Saturday, Sept. 2nd at 10:00am with the Big River Steampunk Main Street Parade and Opening Ceremonies!  The parade begins at the Center Street levee and will make its grand promenade down Main Street, featuring the amazing cast of characters that will appear at the weekend's festivities. If you're decked out in your Steampunk finery, please join the parade!


Immediately following 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.

Prof. Jefferson Parker

and his Penny Farthing

Queen Victoria in the

2015 Opening Ceremonies

Step back in time and become a part of Living History at the Big River Steampunk Festival! With the backdrop of the historic 1840s-1890s buildings on Main Street, the Victorian mansions of Millionaires' Row, and the churning dark waters of the Mighty Mississippi, you can immerse yourself into your "Steam Persona" and live the life of Hannibal's 19th century Gilded Age.


Cosplay is FREE to all participants!  The 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival Compendium, available FREE to Festival-Goers, will be your guide with hints, clues, and instructions for the people to see, places to be, and events happening that will propel you through your Cosplay experience. Prizes, give-aways and more await you as your adventure takes flight in historic downtown Hannibal!

Selena Barker

Grimes, Iowa

The Big River Steampunk Festival will feature an exciting array of entertainment directly on Main Street, made pedestrian-only especially for the Festival!


Comedians, jugglers, exciting escape artists, rowdy pirates, singers, musicians, dancers and more will thrill and delight audiences of all ages!


Our Main Street Stage will also be the location of the daily Costume Contest Finals, the Facial Hair Contest, and other special events. Free and open to the public.



Tea Dueling with

Doc Phineas from

Las Vegas, NV

2016 Costume Contest with emcees Beard & Bean from

Wichita, Kansas

Judas & Magnolia from St. Louis, MO

Photos by John Frey

Magnolia photo by Jeffrey Masters

Carr Creations

Keokuk, Iowa

2016 Great Midway

Enjoy the sights and sounds of The Great Midway on the Mississippi Riverfront!


Here you will find the Great Midway Merchants where 50+ Steampunk vendors from around the country will entice you with Steampunk costumes, accessories, hats & goggles, books, music, artworks, and much more. Delicious food and refreshing beverages will also be available.


The Great Midway is free to all and will be open from 10am - 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and 10am - 4pm on Monday.


New Windsor, Maryland

Mark Lockett

2014 Big River Steampunk Festival Contest Winner

Photo by Brandy Jaquet

One of the most popular events of the Big River Steampunk Festival is the Costume Contest -- this year, contests will be held each of the three days of the Festival!


Contestants will "Walk the Red Carpet" to the preliminary round at Finn's Food & Spirits starting daily at 11:00am. Twelve finalists will then gather on the Main Street Stage where the daily winner will be announced and awarded the coveted 2017 Big River Costume Contest Winner badge and $100 in Big River Fun Money!


The contest is FREE to all contestants and is open to everyone, join in on the fun!


For more information on Contests, Click Here


Ariel Childers

2015 Big River Steampunk Festival Contest Winner

Photo by Brandy Jaquet

2016 Costume Contest Finals

Photo by John Frey

Do you have a special set of whiskers, a well-waxed mustache, or an amazing pair of mutton chops? Show off your best look in the Big River Steampunk Festival's Facial Hair Contest on Sunday, Sept. 3rd.  Entry is FREE to all contestants - for more information and contest rules, click here

Expand your cranial capacity through our series of scintillating topics and fascinating panels held in two locations: The Creative Exchange located at The Great Midway in Kiwanis Park, and The Planters Barn Theater, the former livestock barn (c. 1849) of the Old Planters Hotel located at 319 N. Main Street.  Learn from airships, performers, and enthusiasts of how to thrive in our fun-loving steampunk dystopia! For more details on all of the Seminars, Panels, Workshops and Make-N-Takes, click here.

2016 Facial Hair Contest Finalists

Photo by John Frey

Pattern Making Workshop with

Airship Isabella

Selena Barker visits 2016 Airship Village


The 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival is proud to invite your group to pull into port at the Airship Village where we encourage all Airships to participate and fellowship with other like-minded Steampunk enthusiasts from around the universe!


Reserve your FREE space and set up a Docking Bay (tent or other pavilion) so that your Airship crew has a place to relax, meet up, regroup, party, and enjoy the festivities!

This is also a chance to showcase your best Steampunk decor by decorating your Docking Bay!  A special "Medal of Honor" will be issued to The Most Outstanding Airship crew members for those deemed to have the most imaginative, most creative, most amazing Steampunk Docking Bay -- bring your flags and banners, your gear-laden tent decorations, your most unique lounging chairs, your Steamiest beverage coolers, and show how Steampunkers really live and play!


Airship Iron Rose, Broken Arrow, OK

Splendid Teapot Racing is a sport that began in New Zealand, but 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. Make your own RC Teapot Racer and compete on our special obstacle course featuring the Tunnel of Terror, Ramp of Doom, and Chasm of Death -- prizes and badges for the winners, special awards for the most creative teapot racer, and you can even bribe the judges to help your chances of winning! These RC teapots can be a wonderful outlet for creative energies. The Official Big River Steampunk Festival Teapot Racing Obstacle Course (BRSFTROC) can be found on Main Street with races held both Saturday and Sunday.


For rules and more information, click here.


Tom Sawyer & Becky Thatcher

Hannibal, Missouri

Brandy Jaquet Photography

The Galesburg, Illinois R.U.S.T. Steampunk Society will again host the Big River Steampunk Festival Nerf Dueling Competition. In a recreation of a 19th century duel, contestants will use specially-designed Steampunk weapons repurposed from Nerf guns (spring-powered toys for children that, for some reason, adults also love to play with!). The soft, foam 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. If still neither manage to hit their marks, or if both are hit, the match shall be decided by rock/paper/scissors (the only real way to solve such childish disputes).


Registration for participants is a $1.00 donation to the R.U.S.T. Society but there is no charge to spectators. Duel schedules will be made available in the 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival Compendium, available free of charge at the Festival.






Bobbi Dupoy vs. Dale Griffits

R.U.S.T. Society,  Galesburg, Illinois

Tea Dueling Competition at TeslaCon 5

Madison, Wisconsin -- Nov 8, 2014

In February, 2012, the American Society of Tea Dueling debuted this competitive sport at AnachroCon in Atlanta, Georgia, although Tea Dueling has been practiced in the United Kingdom for quite some time.


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.


The Big River Steampunk Tea Duel is FREE for

both those who duel and those who witness,

please plan to join us!


Tea Dueling Champion and your emcee for the Big River Tea Duel, Doc Phineas T. Kastle

NEW to the Big River Steampunk Festival! Originally instigated by Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe (Kevin Jepson) and Madame Saffron (Jayne Barnard) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the sport of Parasol Dueling has found favor in the Steampunk community. 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!



If you capture a great moment at the 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival, eMail the image to:


The photo that best captures the spirit of the 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival will be deemed "Best In Show". The winning photographer will receive TWO All-Access Passes to the 2018 Big River Steampunk Festival!


For more information, click here



2016 Winning Photo by Toni Taylor

Do you love to tinker and create? Are you a master at repurposing items into Neo-vintage Steampunk Gadgetry? Whether your gizmo is functional or purely ornamental, why not share your ingenuity with the world and inspire others to tinker, too!


The 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival's Gadget and Gizmo Contest is free to all contestants and open to hand-rendered, Steampunk-themed creations made with a bit of cleverness and imagination. The winner will receive a coveted Big River winner's badge and $50 in Big River Fun Money!


For more information, click here



Jorg Rochlitzer

Iowa Falls, Iowa

Join your host, Jorg Rochlitzer, as he takes you back in time to the good 'ole hand-cranked days of "The Flickers", early silent films projected with an authentic, period Cinematograph. Jorg and his partner, Michael DeMar, are the duo behind DeRo Cinematography and are dedicated to "bringing back the golden days of silent films and period photography". Their amazing array of antique equipment will dazzle you, both with moving "Flickers" and their wet-plate and tintype photography techniques.


Films will be shown at Bluff City Theater, 212 Broadway. Schedules will be posted in the 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival Guide, free to all festival attendees.


Professor Jefferson Parker and his lovely wife Maddy Parker will dazzle and delight you with their Victorian Dancing prowess! Follow along and enjoy free Ballroom Dancing lessons from Prof. Parker on historic Main Street.

Kids! Prof. Jefferson Parker's awe-inspiring Penny Farthing will again be at the Big River Steampunk Festival! See Prof. Parker ride throughout the Festival -- he will show you how to climb aboard and assist you on your journey. A sight to behold, and a great photo-op for your Cosplay experience!

Prof. Parker and his Penny Farthing

Professor Jefferson Parker and his wife Maddy

Bryon and Pamela Robles

Wichita, Kansas

Java Jive will be showing exciting short Steampunk-themed films and hosting open gaming sessions in the evenings. Drop in anytime and enjoy the delectable treats available at Java Jive while you're whisked away into a different space and time....

Iowa "Steamies" enjoy

Open Gaming at 2016

Big River Steampunk Festival

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

Sponsored By:

 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.