Excitement is brewing at Big River Steampunk Festival as we present Splendid Teapot Racing


Races will be held on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1 at 3:00 pm

near the Airship Village on Main Street.


If you are looking for something in which the whole family may participate, this activity will suit you to a “tea”.

Splendid Teapot Racing was first introduced in 2015 by Captain Various and Simone Montgomery in New Zealand, as a sport in which their wheelchair-bound friend could compete. The inclusive nature of teapot racing and its silliness has caused it to rapidly spread all over the world. It is a timed obstacle course, which includes a candlestick slalom (try not to knock over the precariously balanced teacup and saucer on the top of each candlestick), the “Ramp of Doom”, the “Tunnel of Terror”, and the “Chasm of Death”. This year, we are also introducing our latest obstacle, the “Seesaw of Indecision”.




We will have on-site registration at the Teapot Racing tents near the Airship Village on Main Street. Stop by early in the day to register and drop off your racer. It will then be on display for all the festival guests to admire and you will not have to carry it around. The tents will be manned at all times to keep your racer safe until race time.


Or, if you don't have your own racer, others will be available so that you can try your hand at the obstacle course!

Tips for Making Your Own Teapot Racer


The race is run by battery operated, remote controlled vehicles that contain a teapot somewhere in their design. This can be ANY remote control vehicle, as long as the over-all design remains within the size limit of 12-inches tall, 12-inches wide, and 16-inches long. The design is completely up to the individual. This is a chance to have fun and be imaginative.


The creators of the sport do have some tips, when it comes to choosing a vehicle:


·       Make sure RC unit has several bands (this will become important in the Drag Race)


·       That the rig has enough clearance not to bottom out on jump –an ability to have at least 3 cm


·       Think lightweight – not top heavy. The ramp has a significant banking on it.


·       Have fun, the object is not to get to caught up in the competitiveness it is much more fun for the

        spectators when you knock stuff over, get stuck or fall off an obstacle. This is a spectator sport!




Photo courtesy of  Beth Ann



Bribing the judges is part of the game. As a matter of fact, part of your over-all score depends on it.  A bribe should be a small thing created by the contestant. Home baked cookies or cupcakes are popular judges bribes, but the bribes don’t have to cost anything. You could write a poem to read to the judges or sing a song. One of this year’s judges has made a special request that none of the bribes contain alcohol.


We will have two judges each day.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Rooney

Photo courtesy of Alex Sattler



There will be ribbons given to the winners in each of the following categories:



Most Splendid Course Completion



Most Splendid Speed



Most Splendid Design




Most Dastardly Driver



Grand Champion



Drag Race Champion




The ribbons are handmade and therefore one-of-a-kind. They are each labeled with the event and date, so this is a chance to start collecting these to wear at future events.


It is possible for a contestant to win in more than one category. PLEASE NOTE: Any staff member of the Big River Steampunk Festival and its representatives are EXCLUDED from this competition in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Julie Fridman

Drag Racing


We discovered last year in Hannibal that a single parking spot makes the perfect drag race course. The drag race is a straightforward (in theory) race, with vehicles lined up at a starting line and everyone trying to be the first to the finish line. Nothing is that simple with teapot racing, though. I have yet to see a teapot drag race that didn’t turn into hilarious chaos, because of RC cars running on the same frequency!


Photo courtesy of Lisa Rooney

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

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

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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.