The Old Timers Day Steampunk Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, in historic downtown Van Buren.
The new theme of the 40-plus year festival will feature more than 100 vendors selling wares fitting the theme of the event.
The festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
“Steampunk is the most famous new trend where the future meets the past,” said Mark Shaffer, president of The Old Town Merchants Association and owner of Metro Gallery. “Steampunk is modern technology powered by steam power, cogs and wheels and set in the 1800s with a backdrop of Victorian England or America’s Wild West.”
The Steampunk theme is a new theme added to the existing Old Timers Day event.
Saturday and Sunday events include:
• Professor Jefferson Parker will be riding his Penny Farthing (big wheel) bike, posing for pictures and offering rides to youngsters on his vintage bike.
• Stilt walkers, jugglers and hula hoop artists from Sacred Somatics Entertainment roaming up and down Main Street.
• Rotating performers including Irish dancers, fire dancers and Native American dancers will be on every intersection of historic Main Street.
• The Airship Iron Rose will land on Main Street with her crew telling wild tales and performing feats of “courage.” Their story, “The Airship Iron Rose in Attack on the Festival” is a view into the life of high-wire stunts and includes steampunk special effects.
• Carnival Epsilon will perform on stage at Blanche Moore Park at 2 p.m. This one-hour show will feature sword swallowing, and fire breathing.
• Cedric the Magician will entertain kids of all ages with his interactive magic show on Main Street throughout the day. He and his lovely assistant will offer fabulous balloon creations and limited face painting between the magic shows. The show is free for children.
• Steampunk costume contest at 2 p.m. on the stage in Blanche Moore Memorial Park with prizes for the first, second and third place. Immediately following, A Steampunk Puppy Dog Costume Contest sponsored by Funky Puppy Poochie Parlor will be held. Prizes will be given to the best-costumed canine.
• Tethered hot air balloon rides at 5 p.m. over historic Main Street. Tickets can be purchased and time slots scheduled at the designated booth site (weather permitting).
• Steampunk Tea Room with panel discussions at 5:30 p.m. at Madam’s Main Attraction, 701 Main St. Requires a ticket.
• Chance to Dance dance studio will perform an original Steampunk performance on Main Street, beginning at 1 p.m. at different intersections throughout the day.
• The Ragged Blade Band, a ragtime/steampunk-style band from St. Louis, Mo., will perform at 1 p.m. at the train depot platform.
“Also during the festival both days there will be workshops offered on how to make your own mini Steampunk hat,” said Kathy Lumpkin, OTD Steampunk Festival chairwoman and owner of Key Lime Crush.
“Food will be plentiful during the festival as we have approximately 18 food trucks offering items such as fine pastries and fresh seafood from Miami, Fla., along with our own main street favorite diners such as Boom A Rang, newly opened Larry B’s Rhythm Room and D&R Trolley Stop BBQ,” said Mindy London, vendor chairwoman and owner of Firefly Boutique.
Artists painting, basket weavers and other artisans will be creating their pieces of art at their booths.
“Dozens of vendors with their unique and hand made items will be available for your shopping pleasure,” Shaffer said. “Shops on Main will also be open during the festival. Festival-goers are encouraged to come in Steampunk attire and join in on the fun.
The festival organizers are still seeking vendors for The Old Timers Day Steampunk Festival. Interested vendors may visit www.oldtownvanburen.com to print out or fill out an online form.