Fans of science fiction and history have an opportunity to see both come to life and combine in a town already filled with real-life Missouri history.

The 2017 Big River Steampunk Festival on Sept. 1 through 4 in downtown Hannibal will have a

myriad of entertainers and events, featuring some at new indoor locations.

Lisa and Ken Marks, founders of the Hannibal History Museum, sponsor of this unique annual festival, are pleased to have some events scheduled indoors this year, where they will not be affected by unpredictable weather.

One is Planters Barn Theater where performances and seminars will continue each day, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2. At 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, it will host The Big River Murder Mystery.

At noon Sept. 2 the Bluff City Theater will have a performance by Dr. Frankenstein’s Laboratory. This theater also will offer a film series and more events. And the Star Theater will host an event.

The Mark Twain Museum will give children learning opportunities, and the Hannibal History Museum will have panel discussions, including “Turning Obsessions into Careers” at 4 p.m. Sept. 3.

Outdoor events will again introduce the public to the local lifestyle of the Industrial Revolution,

including demonstrations, seminars and contests.

Costume contests are planned each day on Sept. 2, 3 and 4, and another popular contest for the public features facial hair.

Events begin at Main Street Stage, The Main Street Stage in the 200 block of North Main and its adjacent ticket and information booth will be the central location for free entertainment, beginning with the opening ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 2, after a 10 a.m. parade arrives there.

Each day through Sept. 4 contests for adults and children are scheduled, including parasol dueling and nerf dueling. Teapot racing also is planned. Java Jive will offer open gaming.

An 1860s baseball game will begin at 11 a.m. Sept. 3 at Clemens Field. Evening events are scheduled at Finn’s Food and Spirits as well as the former Catholic Church at 515 Lyon St., and the Mark Twain Riverboat.

At noon Monday, Sept. 4, a self-guided tour of Hannibal’s historic homes will give Steampunk people

another glimpse of the past.

The schedule of events and locations is available at and also in the

festival booklet, which is on the website.


Sample of Events:




TEA DUELING: “The art of gracefully dunking a tea biscuit…soaking it…and lifting it into one’s mouth.” The most graceful connoisseur wins in this dapper form of edible dueling.




SPLENDID TEAPOT RACING: Race a motorized teapot through an obstacle course of candlesticks and ramps. Bribing the judges is welcome, according to the festival’s website..




COSTUME CONTEST: One of the most appealing parts of the festival is the whimsical style of costume. Every day of the festival will have it’s own costume contest.