Troy's annual steampunk festival kicks off its fourth year this month at a new riverside park fair setting with a floating pirate party on the Hudson River.
"The Enchanted City is making the most of our Hudson River setting this year with the addition of a steampunk pirate riverboat and steam-powered set pieces at our Riverfront Park," said Enchanted City Creator Susan Dunckel. "Dutch Apple Cruises will supply a floating bar, stage and facilities throughout the day and then will set sail with us in the evening for our festival after party."
"The Enchanted City IV, Deus Ex Machina - A Steampunk Fair" will be at Riverfront Park in downtown Troy on Saturday Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free festival of steampunk fashion, fantasy and fabrications draws more than 5,000 participants and offers a family-friendly inspired day of music, games, performance, food and fantasy. Special events include an opening parade of Mad Machinery, a costume contest, street performers and peddlers, storytelling, dancing, puppet shows, magic acts and more.
Adults and children are encouraged to come dressed in steampunk-themed costumes or as fairies to take part in the spectacle that will magically transform a waterfront park in historic downtown Troy, N.Y. into a "cosplay" alternative reality where Victorian fancy meets modern technology.
Although definitions vary slightly, "Steampunk" is a genre of science fiction/fantasy that takes place in an alternative 1800s setting in which modern technology like robotics and air travel are powered by Victorian style and sensibilities. It is an alternative "futuristic past."
The word steampunk was coined by novelist K. W. Jeter, author of "Morlock Night," a 1979 spinoff to "The Time Machine," by H.G. Wells.
FEATURING CREATURE CREATIONS BY GRYMM STUDIOS & JEFF MACH
This year's distinguished guests include Jeff Mach, founder of Jeff Mach Events which runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair, and steampunk artist Joey Marsocci a.k.a. Dr. Grymm of Grymm Studios.
"So many people ask me 'What is steampunk all about?' So this year I'm bringing in the professionals to answer that question," Dunkel said. "People are really fascinated by this world. They're curious and they really want to learn as much as they can."
During the festival, Grymm Studios will provide walk around creatures that are a mixture of creature suit and puppetry. The creatures will interact with festivalgoesr and have full sound and lighting effects to add to the performance. One of the creatures is a Steampunk scarecrow called "The Harvester."
"Joey Marsocci is a master costume maker. These are full scale suits, they’re at the level you would find in movies -- he does that quality of work," Dunckel said. "Some of these are really freaky, pretty scary and lots of fun."
Though he has designed in many styles, Marsocci said he prefers the darker, grittier side of Steampunk that more closely reflects the writings of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe rather than H.G. Wells. His contemporary influences include the work and designs of film director, screenwriter and novelist Guillermo Del Toro, and fantasy illustrator Brian Froud.
"Everything I build or design has a story to it," Marsocci said. "My designs also always incorporate the war between organic materials versus machines as I believe it is a constant struggle in each of us especially in our present state of technology."
Marsocci will be in the "Talk Tent" during the festival and will participate in a panel discussion.
"Steampunk is all about creation, including the costuming with mechanical parts or parts that light up or move," Dunckel said. "Many of the things we create for The Enchanted City are made at TVCOG, so we’re very excited to have them as a partner."
STEAMPUNK PIRATES ROCK THE HUDSON WITH JEERS, GEARS AND GROG!
Afterparty: Saturday, Sept. 16, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
On Saturday evening, after the main event, The Enchanted City afterparty looks to be one of extreme naughtiness when concertgoers will sail away with Dread Pirate Fredrick and his less then gentlemanly crew aboard the Dutchess of Empires (an enchanted version of the Dutch Apple II riverboat).
Victims will be treated to a light buffet dinner while they sail the Hudson, and copious drinks will be offered by the vessel’s cash bar.
Musical act Shayfer James will headline the party. James is an indie artist from New York City known for his dark, danceable anthems, harrowing ballads, and experiments in chaos.
Boarding at Troy Riverfront Park begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for passage are $45.00 if purchased by Aug. 15 and $75.00 after Aug. 15. For information and to purchase, visit: