Pine Hill gears up for Steampunk Festival

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By Jay Braman Jr.
The Pine Hill Steampunk Festival returns this year to the tiny hamlet, promising to be much bigger and better than the inaugural event last year.
The event, which runs October 25, 26, and 27 and takes place throughout the entire hamlet, won’t need to do much to top the first one. Last year’s festivities were overshadowed by Hurricane Sandy, which swept through only days prior, but organizer Rusty Mae Moore says the event is back, regardless of the low, storm drenched turnout for the 2012 version.
“We’re hoping for better weather,” she said.
But wait. Just what is a Steampunk Festival?
Well, according to the writers at the Urban Dictionary website, which appear to know, Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan, “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.” It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes.
There.
And what happens at a Steampunk Festival?
In the Pine Hill version at least, there will be a Steampunk Pet Fashion Show, where people are encouraged to dress up their animals in Steampunky styles. Look for belly dancers, magic shows, live action role playing, live music and a Steampunk marketplace where vendors Steampunky stuff like jewelry, shoes, dresses, lace accessories, corsets, and books.
There will be tarot card reading too.

Science fiction & more
Moore called the Pine Hill version a mixture of science fiction and Victorian history and said that the hamlet, with its Victorian Era style, is a perfect place for it.
“The whole concept of this is to have fun,” she said. “We’re trying to bring people to Pine Hill to revive Main Street. The Main Street committee is really where we thought of this idea. We’re using the whole town. We’re having events in the firehouse, the Community Center, the library, the museum, and the park.” And of course the local cemetery.
And if things go the way similar events go, the visitors will be a diverse crowd.
“It is quite popular with a lot of people of many ages from high school students to sexagenarians,” she said.
If you do go, be sure to be ready to participate.
“One thing Steampunk is characterized by is wearing costumes,” so people who come are certainly invited to wear Victorian type costumes.”
She also said that, if you don’t have a costume don’t let that stop you.
“Actually we’re going to have costumes there,” she said. We have borrowed from the Town of Roxbury which has a Victorian costume collection.”
She added that the biggest Steampunk Festival promoter in the world will come to event.
For more information contact Moore at 254-3309.