Watch City Festival
This May 11 & 12, 2013 the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation presents the 4th annual Steampunk festival!
Tickets are available at the event.
On May 10, 11 and 12th, 2013, over 17,000 “Steampunk City Citizens” and visitors will attend the Watch City Festival hosted in the beautiful and historic city of Waltham, Massachusetts. The Watch City Festival, presented by the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation and co-sponsored by the City of Waltham, is a sort of “Ringling Brothers meets the Industrial Revolution” event that encompasses the entire downtown area. The Museum and City are also working with the Waltham Tourism Council, Watertown Savings, Park Lodge Hotel Group, the 128 Business Council, and the New England Steampunk Community to produce an event that Jules Verne and H.G. Wells would be proud of. This year’s festival featured a multitude of national, regional and local celebrities, musical acts, art expeditions, a film festival, workshops, children’s acitivies, a circus, concert and more!
This year’s festival coincides with the two hundredth anniversary of Francis Cabot Lowell’s first mill in America and the creation of The Lowell System of Manufacturing. In 1813, Francis Cabot Lowell established the Boston Manufacturing Company in Waltham. This company gave birth to American manufacturing and changed the business world in general. Through Francis Cabot Lowell’s efforts, the company was the first in American history to sell shares to investors, employ women in a significant manner, pay cash for wages, and establish a system for manufacturing where the entire process happened under one roof. His chosen product was cotton cloth and his company gave birth to the Industrial Revolution.
As part of the festival, the Museum will showcase the achievements of Francis Cabot Lowell with special lectures, films, tours, and even bringing the man himself back from the past to interact with visitors and to find the missing design plans to his now famous Waltham mill and the fictional world of Steampunk City. While visiting the festival, Francis and visitors will meet a multitude of characters such as Queen Clara, reigning monarch of Steampunk City; Baron Von Lahey, the flamboyant and somewhat questionable Mayor of Steampunk City; and Captain Von Arkham, local madman and town crier. Their also Lord Leo, a visiting diplomat, and others.
The Watch City Festival kicks off on May 10th, 2013 with the Queen’s Concert at the Watch City Brewing Company from 6:00PM to 12:00AM. For the price of a beer, guests may toast the Queen and enjoy the music of Frenchy & the Punk, The Steampunk Blues Crew and Robert Byrd.
Between Saturday at 10AM on May 11th and Sunday at 6PM on May 12th, festival organizers have planned over 1000 hours of entertainment for all ages. Throughout the weekend, guests will be transported to Steampunk City, where Victorian trolleys, steam cars and high-wheel bicycles tour the streets. There will be steam circus calliopes, unique performers, musicians, and characters at every corner, all telling the story of Steampunk City. Authors and entertainers known nationwide will fill our bookstores and auditoriums. The Town Common will be transformed into a bazaar filled with vendors offering fine leather work, costume wearables, gadgets and jewelry. Additionally the Common will feature buskers and demonstrations that tip their hat to a realm forgotten. There are even two parades to enjoy or join in. At the Steampunk City town meeting, all citizens will have the opportunity to voice their opinion on issues such as, the loss of the City Plans?” and “What to do about the insane Town Crier?” Children visiting the city can make a watch, ride a train, learn to mime, and much much more.
Making this year’s festival even more special, Queen Clara has invited honored guests Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn co-owners of Obsura co-host for the Discovery Channel’s hit show “Oddities.” offer a lecture on “Machine Age Madness: Industrial and Steampunk Culture” on Saturday at 11:00 AM and a Show and Tell Oddities Panel at 2:00 PM in the Jackson Room of the Museum. They television show “Oddities” focuses on the day-to-day operation of Obscura Antiques & Oddities, and stars co-owners Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson and buyer Ryan Matthew, with appearances by other employees and customers. The store’s employees search flea markets, personal collections, auctions, and antique shows for unique and unusual artifacts.
The Queen is also honored to host nationally recognized author James Gurney. James famous children’s book, television and video games series Dinotopia has been children’s favorite for over 20 years. His series first published in 1992 follows the adventures of explorer Arthur Denison and his son Will through a fictional world where dinosaurs and humans live together in a utopian society. Intended for readers of all ages, the series has been translated into 18 languages in more than 30 countries and sold two million copies. James will provide lectures and author signings throughout the weekend.
On Saturday evening the city comes alive with “Steampunk After Dark.” During the steampunk evening wonders abound with musical performances in local bars. The evening also features a pub crawl, a light show, street performances, a Victorian Ball hosted by the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra and the museum’s own “Cirque de Lune.” (Circus of the Moon) Surprises await at this one ring steampunk circus and midway with side show acts, carnival games and arcade. The circus will offer two showings. From 6:30 to 8:30 PM, our ringmaster invites families to enjoy aerialists, clowns, contortionists and several other unique acts sure to enchant and entertain. From 9:30 PM to midnight the circus turns 21+ as acts spread throughout the museum, wine flows, and a grand performance is provided by Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys. Admission to the circus is $25.00 per adult and $15.00 per child. Festival buttoned audience members receive a five dollar discount off of the price of circus admission. Circus tickets can be bought at the door of the circus only.