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Cincinnati Steampunk Salon’s HUGE turnout!

AUTOMATION Rocks out the night. - Photo by Trevor Good of GoodPhotographics

AUTOMATION a steampunk metal group serenades attendees with ballads of epic deeds. – Photo by Trevor Good of GoodPhotographics

For its debut meeting at Molly Malone’s spacious location, the League of Cincinnati Steampunks saw a record turnout of 170 people. Welcoming many old companions as well as numerous first-time guests to this new location the League entertained its guests with not only the usual custom of fooddrink, and conversation, but also showed silent versions of movies The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Prestige, and QED, hosted a live performance from Cincinnati’s own Steampunk band AUTOMATION, and finished off the night with dancing dj-ed by DJ Eats Unicorns. However, the night was not just one of general merriment; in a show of support and acceptance, in many ways, of all things steampunk, the community rallied to help one of its members in need, Dr. Forge, who has been battling both multiple sclerosis and social security. Many desirable steampunk prizes were donated for a raffle held towards raising funds for Dr. Forge’s interim expenses while he waits upon the final authorization for his S.S. benefits. Several lucky individuals walked away with cherished prizes, such as a modded NERF gun from Aloysius himself, a steampunk belt, a custom bustled skirt worth $300, and even a Kindle Fire. The community as a whole celebrated raising over $800 with three heartfelt huzzahs. If you were unable to win any of this fabulous prizes, or are hungry for more opportunities to get your mitts on a wide variety of steampunk trinkets, accessories, and clothing then we invite you to join us at the Steampunk Yard Sale for “Save the Dave”.

Aloysius raffles off one of his own Steampunk creations in support of Dr. Forge - Photo by Trevor Good of GoodPhotographics

Aloysius raffles off one of his own Steampunk creations in support of Dr. Forge – Photo by Trevor Good of GoodPhotographics

We hope to see you soon at the Steampunk Empire Symposium. If you haven’t already ordered tickets, register today: weekend and one day passes are still available. Next month’s salon will be held again at Molly Malone’s for the Symposium’s  “May the 4th Be With You” after-party helping you fight those post-con blues with an electric violin performance by Emily King and dj-ing by DJ Nipples.

 

 

Camaraderie is never far away at a Salon. Join us next month! - Photo by Trevor Good of GoodPhotographics

Camaraderie is never far away at a Salon. Join us next month! – Photo by Trevor Good of GoodPhotographics

Pandoracon joins the Cincinnati Comic Expo

 

McGann Expo Banner

In 2012 Pandoracon provided Cincinnati with a new way to experience a Sci-Fi & Fantasy convention with interactive games and events, and now the Pandora Society is excited to announce that we shall be partnering with the Cincinnati Comic Expo this year! The remaining Pandoracon staff will be heavily involved in adding new panels and interactive events to the rapidly growing Comic Expo.

I was planning on waiting until after the Steampunk Symposium to announce this, but sometimes good news is hard to keep secret . . . I, Aloysius Fox, was last week made Director of Programming for the Cincinnati Comic Expo as part of the merger of Pandoracon and the Expo. For the past four years the Expo has put on a fantastic comic show, but now the show is growing into something much bigger than that, and the spirit of Pandoracon is going to help further bring many fandoms together in the Duke Energy Center this September.

Today the Expo announced its latest guest, to whom the Pandora Society played a part in this decision, and as you see above it is none other than Doctor Who! Paul McGann, the eighth Doctor will be coming to Cincinnati in September! As part of this celebration, the Pandora Society will be hosting The Time Travelers’ Ball on Saturday, September 20th in the Duke Energy Center Junior Ballroom . . . an event in its third year inspired by Steampunk, Doctor Who, and general fun costuming! It is not confirmed, but there is a good chance that McGann will join the Ball to judge the costume contest.

While Pandoracon will cease to be an independent show, it is thrilling to know that the work that was begun in 2012 will touch thousands more fans and in a couple more years place Cincinnati firmly on the geek map as one of the best convention hosts in the nation :)

Steampunks Invade Goth Night!

Centroid DockIt has often been said that Steampunk consists mainly of Goths who have discovered brown, and if you are in the Cincinnati area tomorrow night we invite you to join Airship Centroid’s event at Darkotica. Thursday night’s Darkotica at the nightclub The Dock is Cincinnati’s most prominent goth venue and actually played an important part in the formation of the League of Cincinnati Steampunks and thus the Symposium itself.

On July 3, 2008, Darkotica was the location of what might have been the very first Steampunk meetup in Cincinnati. In search of fellow Steampunks, I had scoured MySpace (yes, the days of MySpace) and arranged to meet a few at Darkotica. I recall clearly the major moment of meeting Guy Dillon and Tina Black in which Guy anticlimactically (but characteristic of his charming sarcasm) introduced me to Tina as “some guy from the internet.” Months later in October 2008 we formed the League of Cincinnati Steampunks, then in April 2012 we opened the Steampunk Empire Symposium, and now here we are, all great friends and six weeks away from year three of the Symposium.

The Steampunk Empire Symposium will be running a table at tomorrow’s Steampunk invasion of Darkotica, and we invite you come over and hang out for a while with “some guy from the internet” :)

Bockfest Parade in Cincinnati

Bochfest 2014

Photo by David Sorcher for the Cincinnati Enquirer

Friday March 7th, 2014, members of the League of Cincinnati Steampunks marched in the Bockfest Parade for their fourth year participating in this old local tradition.

In the 1800s, Cincinnati was one of America’s most prolific brewing cities. Cincinnatians drank more beer per capita than any city in the country (2 1/2 times the national average), and Over-the-Rhine was the epicenter of beer production and consumption. By 1890, the neighborhood was home to roughly 300 saloons and had over a dozen-and-a-half breweries within or adjacent to its boundaries. Bockfest occurs during the first full weekend of March. It begins with a parade on Friday evening that starts at Arnold’s Bar & Grill, Cincinnati’s oldest saloon. The parade is lead by a goat pulling a keg of bock beer and the reigning Sausage Queen. It ends at Bockfest Hall where the ceremonial first keg is blessed, the best Parade entries are honored, and Bockfest officially begins. The Hall is open throughout the weekend and features live entertainment, great food, historic walking tours, authors and breweriana, a homebrew competition, 5K, Continental Sunday celebrations and lots of delicious bock beer.

Even though it is a year away, any ladies and chaps wishing to join us for the 2015 Bockfest Parade please RSVP at our Facebook events page to get updates on our big plans to further make Steampunk a part of these festivities.

The Voodoo Carnival 2014

Voodoo PicSaturday, March 1st, 2014 marks the fourth annual Voodoo Carnival Mardi Gras Masquerade, a one night show that is viewed by many as the pre-show for the Steampunk Empire Symposium.

This year the Voodoo Carnival returns to the Southgate House Revival (111 East 6th Street, Newport, KY, 41071) for a night of cabaret entertainment and masked revelry. Acts include music from band Animal Circles and DJ Nipples, belly dancing from Zahara’s Tangled Web, sideshow from the Pickled Brothers Circus, contortion from Jeanette Martinez, boylesquse from Lord Spencington, Vincent Vile and the Viollettes, costume contests, and more . . . all host by yours truly, MC Aloysius Fox.

Voodoo Pic BThere is no doubt that the Voodoo Carnival is Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky’s most elaborate Mardi Gras masquerade, and tickets are only $10 for advance purchase and $15 at the door. If you have yet to experience this delightfully decadent night of masks and mirth, check out pictures from past Voodoo Carnivals . . . 2013 . . . 2012 . . . and 2011.

As the month of February slides us slowly toward Mardi Gras we shall bring you more details on our acts and what to expect . . . there’s even rumors of a return from the infamous Mr. Happy Trousers and his peculiar pants-full-of-prizes!

The End of an Era, and a New Chapter for Cincinnati

League BannerWhile not all good things have to end, this Saturday saw the turning of a chapter as the League of Cincinnati Steampunks held a Last Hurrah at Arnold’s Bar and Grill. Arnold’s has played a significant part in the evolution of the steampunk movement in Cincinnati, including the Steampunk Symposium. Arnold’s was there in the beginning on October 15th, 2008 when six people met for dinner at Arnold’s for one of the first recorded steampunk meetups in Ohio. Last night was a far cry from such humble beginnings as the farewell event hosted no less than 72 enthusiastic steampunks that gathered to reminisce about the number of past salons.

Oct 15 2008

October 15th, 2008 saw the formation of the League of Cincinnati Steampunks and the first Salon at Arnold’s.

We would like to take a moment on behalf of the League of Cincinnati Steampunks and Steampunks from as close as Cincinnati to as far as Michigan and beyond to thank the Arnold’s staff for their hospitality and service. You have truly created an atmosphere that any anachronistic fan could truly admire. (If you didn’t know Arnold’s is one of the longest running bars that first opened its doors in 1861. Even during Prohibition, Arnold’s remained open and according to legend the bathtub you can find upstairs is the same tub that was used to make bootleg gin. No surprised that as part of our farewell to Arnold’s many steampunks opted to have their pictures taken in this iconic tub.)

Mr. Aloysius Fox himself posing in the iconic Arnold's tub. - Curtsy of KolligArt.com

Mr. Aloysius Fox himself posing in the iconic Arnold’s tub.

Turning the page, the League of Cincinnati Steampunks looks on to our next chapter as we continue to grow and expand holding  future salons at our new home across the river at Molly Malone’s in Covington. There we will have access to the entire third floor complete with its own bar, stage, projection screen, DJ booth, and room for 200 people. This new location will allow us to more than just eat, drink and socialize. Future Salons will also potentially include silent movies, occasional bands and performs as well as a monthly DJ to turn our third floor sanctuary into a dance club from 11pm to 2am (for no cover – though we will ask for a generous passing of the hat for those who do perform).

Perhaps we're slightly above the 25 max capacity.

Five years later and the Cincinnati Steampunk Salon averages 70 plus people each month.

Next month, however, will feature the intrigue and amazing costumes of the famous and fourth-annual Voodoo Carnival. The following month will see our first Salon on Saturday, April 5th at Molly Malone’s for the pre-Symposium show.

We invite you and your crew to join us as we get ready for one of the fastest growing steampunk events in the Midwest, the Steampunk Symposium, as it continues with it’s very own Steam Wars saga. Don’t have a crew? Feel free to talk to captains of airships near and far on our Facebook page or come early to our open recruiting meet-and-greets at the beginning of Symposium.

Arnold’s Last Hurrah – Cincinnati, OH

Oct 15 2008

The Final Five, plus the guy with the camera.

As with all things, the origins of the Steampunk Symposium started small. On Saturday, October 15th, 2008 six people met for dinner at Arnold’s Bar & Grill on 8th Street in Cincinnati and that night formed the League of Cincinnati Steampunks. From that day forward the League met on the first weekend of each month and the “salon” slowly grew. For a short while the League moved to Highland Coffee House near the University of Cincinnati campus, and was hosted a few times in people’s houses before coming back to Arnold’s, back to its birthplace, and then  it really began to grow.

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Bathe while commuting to work?

Arnold’s was the perfect choice for the Cincinnati Steampunk Salon; it opened in 1861 and is one of the longest running bars in the nation. During Prohibition Arnold’s remained open and legend has that the bathtub in one of the upstairs dining rooms is the same tub that was used to make bootleg gin during those “dry” years. This bathtub has become iconic for Arnold’s and they even have a motorized bathtub that is driven in parades; the League of Cincinnati Steampunks has marched along side it representing steampunk and Arnold’s in the Bochfest Parade each March, but not this year.

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April 2011, the Salon when the Steampunk Empire Symposium was officially declared.

Over the last five years, new anachronistic ladies and gentlemen have ventured to downtown Cincinnati to join the fun and the numbers steadily grew to a recent average of 50 to 60 people each month, and inevitably the Cincinnati Steampunks have outgrown Arnold’s; the time has come to move the Salon to a bigger venue. Saturday, February 1st, 2014 will the last one held there; this is Arnold’s Last Hurrah and if you are anywhere near Cincinnati, Ohio we invite you to come join us in this emotional farewell to a place that has been so important to the Cincinnati Steampunk scene for so long.

mollys

The new home of the Cincinnati Steampunk Salon

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 the Cincinnati Steampunks will be celebrating Mardi Gras at the fourth annual Voodoo Carnival masquerade, the Pandora Society’s pre-Symposium show, and then on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 the Cincinnati Steampunk Salon moves to its new home at Molly Malone’s. The new Salon has the entire third floor with its own bar, a stage, a projection screen, a DJ booth, and the capacity to hold up to 200 people. Unlike previous monthly meetings where we just ate, drank, and socialized, this new Salon will also offer silent movies, occasional bands and performers, and a monthly DJ to turn the place into a dance club from 11PM to 2AM, AND still for NO COVER (however, we will be asking for a generous pass of the hat for those who do perform).

So to the staff and management of Arnold’s we thank you dearly for taking such good care of us all these years; we will miss you . . . and to Molly’s, we look forward to many years to come as the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Steampunk Scene continues to grow and grow.