Jul 28, 2014
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Photo Gallery: S.T.E.A.M.Fest At Avondale Estate's Academy Theatre

The festival celebrating the Steampunk genre continues noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

By Hugh Simpson

I am the former consultant to another event that has grown to be a monster of a production - DragonCon in downtown Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. 

On Saturday I attended another event that could become the next DragonCon -- in Avondale Estates at the . 

So what is a SteamFest?  Well, it is a venue for the Steampunk genre that got its start back in the days of one of my favorite TV series -- The Wild Wild West. Here is what Austin Sirkin wrote about Steampunk:

"Nearly everyone agrees that Steampunk looks cool."  (Well, I sure agree with him!) "With its detailed, intricate aesthetic made up of brass, leather and wool, Steampunk is nearly the polar opposite of the sleek, minimalist designs that make up modern clothing and technology." 

I think you will have to agree too as you study the cool costumes and especially accessories like way-out guns!

You also might associate Steampunk with Jules Verne and his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Nautilus would a perfect Steampunk sub!

Steampunk has a big fan in Angela Kadingo and her family in Avondale Estates.

"We got into Steampunk because of our love of Victoriana and history. This theme is not only a chance to explore a different time but a chance to experience creating at its best.  My home is an extension of the Victorian and Edwardian British themes."

A new event in addition to the traditional musical acts, Steampunk workshops and cool products is the Tea Dueling, which just came to the USA from the UK in February of this year when it made its debut in Atlanta at Anachro*Con.

Tea Dueling is overseen by a Tiffin Master who tells the duelists to select their weapons, which in this case are tea biscuits on a plate.  You then take your biscuit and dip into very hot tea for five seconds. The duel begins as you will try to outwit your opponent by seeing if you are the last one to get the biscuit totally in your mouth before it breaks, falls in the teacup, on the table or on the duelist.  If you do this then you have achieved what is called a clean "nom." 

The final duel was won by Lauren Berkley after both duelists got a clean "nom" at the same time -- a highly unusual event in USA Tea Dueling!  This is a perfect new event for someone like Tetley or Lipton to sponsor along with Nabisco!

More S.T.E.A.M.Fest occurs Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., culminating in the Costume Parade.

About time we had another event that could draw like DragonCon!

Look at the festival webpage for a full schedule of events.



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