Right now, in metro Detroit, they are celebrating the birth of a new sub-culture. Steam Punk is, in fact, the new cool. Goth girls have now learned to wear brown, and now carry Victorian props. Our friends who have had a thing for Science Fiction all their lives are going wild. All the brilliant people who have been fascinated by the works of early scientists and inventors like Nikola Tesla are putting their own crazy spin on things, and having a party at the Hyatt Regiency in Dearborn, Michigan. A huge party, that will run from Friday to Monday, all weekend long. If you’re the Metro Detroit are this weekend, head down to the World Steam Punk Convention in Dearborn. You will not be sad that you did.
What is Steam Punk? Why should you really get in your car and just go? Read on, because you don’t want to miss this. There isn’t another event anywhere in the Midwest like this. Fascinating and entertaining people from all over the country, and even Canada and England are showing up. I’m only getting to go to the World Steam Punk convention in Dearborn on a fluke, myself. I heard about this months ago when I was at the North West Science Fiction Convention in Seattle, Washington. It sounded amazing! Some of the most fun people at that even were all geared up to travel across the country, to go to the big Steam Punk Convention.
Back to the question a lot of people are asking, what exactly is steam punk? It would be hard to try to define a whole sub-culture, which appeals to people with really varied backgrounds and interests. That’s part of why it’ so cool. If you go you’re going to see geeks dressed up to the nines, most of them sporting a new kind of fashion that seems to blend punks and goths, and people who like historical reenactment and have a thing for the Victorian Era. There is definitely a unique element of fashion here,
ladies may be seen in flowy dresses and corsets, wearing creative tiny little hats. For anybody who ever liked to play dress up, this is going to be fun.
The Steam Punk culture asks “what if?”.
Steam Punk Blends a fascination with the history of invention and innovations with fantasy and advanced technology. Imagine say, if the Victorian people had computers. Say their technologies included advancements we don’t even have today, but time had kind of stopped in a world of steam trains and galleons in the sky? What if we had harnessed the mind, but differently- how would history be different? A new kind of speculative fiction has come from these questions, and is helping to create the Steam Punk as an interesting and cool new sub-culture.
One of the reasons that Dearborn is a great spot to hold the World Steam Punk Expo, is that it’s located right by Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. I’ll be at high tea at the Cotswold Cottage myself, Saturday afternoon. Steam Punk borrows some of it’s unique themes from the days when steam-engines still powered the most modern advancements in machinery and industry.
There are magnificent exhibits at Henry Ford Museum, which really educate the visitor on how power and electricity developed. The Steam Engine and train display is truly fascinating, with enormous displays that can’t be sen anywhere else. Greenfield Village also houses the actual laboratory complex that Thomas Edison used. Henry Ford had a great deal of respect for Mr. Edison’s work, and a deep interest in many scientists, machinists, inventors, and innovative people of that era.
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is also in Dearborn, near the Steam Punk convention at the Hyatt Regiency. Many People who are attending the World Steam Punk Expo are also planning to make a side-trip to the museum and village.
For those who have never been there, it’ll be hard to pack it all in, especially with all of the things going on at the convention. Still, where else can you see Thomas Edison’s workshop; a display of invention and power through time, and take a train ride around a historic village? It’s good that it’s a long weekend! If you can make it to both, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
There will be a lot of interesting workshops and panel discussions at the World Steam Punk Expo. Writers, lovers of science fiction and fantasy, and people interested in costuming and theater are likely to pour in for the whole weekend. Music lovers and people who want to dance will be thrilled by the Masquerade ball on Saturday night. This weekend will have something for everyone.
Admission Rates and Location for the World Steam Punk Expo
The convention is beingggg held Friday to Monday at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn ( 600 Town Center Drive, Dearborn MI )
Four-day admission: $50
Saturday or Sunday bone-day admission $30
Friday or Monday one-day admission: $20
Saturday’s Masquerade Ball: $20 or $30 per couple
Henry Ford and Greenfield Village one-day pass: $35
Official World Steam Punk Expo Site
Map to Dearborn Hyatt
Detroit News Article about Steam Punk Convention