It’s "full steam ahead"  for an event taking place in Hannibal over the Labor Day weekend. Event sponsor Lisa Marks received approval from the Hannibal City Council to hold the second annual Big River Steampunk Festival Sept. 5-7 in the historical area. The event intertwines apparel and gadgets of the Gilded Age with a twist of science fiction.

Marks also requested the event serve as a pilot project for proposed ordinance changes regarding alcohol consumption. The Bill amending city code received a First Reading by the council Tuesday evening. It would allow alcohol consumption within a wider area at city-sanctioned events, provided the sponsor define the boundaries at time of application. Also required would be plans for preventing alcohol sales to minors (such as wristbands), and signage defining the boundaries and hours that consumption would be allowed. Marks' request received tentative approval pending a Second and Final Reading of the Bill at the August 18 council meeting.

Steampunk won't be the only phenomenon occurring in Hannibal. Zombies will take to the streets in late August, according to author John Davis and film producer Josh Mullner. The two men appeared before the council regarding plans to shoot a short film called the American Revenant, a zombie apocalypse movie set in Hannibal. Tentative dates for the film shoot are August 22 and 29. The council appearance was originally to request short-term street closures, but Davis now believes that will not be needed. Davis has been living in Hannibal for the last 12 years and is working on his third book in the American Revenant series. Davis says the original plan was to produce a 2-minute book trailer, but that has been expanded to a 15 minute film. The creative pair hope to have a local screening of the movie later in the fall.

In other business, the council approved:

  • A Resolution authorizing $83,000 to be spent for engineering fees regarding Hannibal Municipal Airport improvements. The money goes to the engineering firm Jviation, Inc. for design and engineering of taxiway extensions and future hangers.  Public Works Superintendent Brian Chaplain told the council the city's portion of the engineering fees is 10%, or just over $8300.  The remaining 90% will come from MoDOT Aviation non-primary funding.
  • New steps for the Huckleberry Park Softball field.  A Resolution was approved awarding the project to low-bidder Bleigh Construction at a cost of $48,000.  Parks and Rec Director Andy Dorian told the council access to the field from the upper parking lot is difficult and even dangerous when the grass on the steep hill is wet. The project will take place this fall and should be completed in about 45 days. Once the stairs are finished, plans are to construct a new handicap accessible third base dugout.
  • City Clerk Angel Vance received approval to revise the current Deputy Clerk position to Deputy Clerk/ Human Resource Assistant to reflect the current duties of the position.  The moves come after current Deputy Clerk Rebecca Graves announced plans to retire later this year.
  • Rev. Linda Spaun of Scott's Chapel United Methodist Church received approval for street closure of the 1800 Block of Hope St. for a Block Party to be held Sept. 19.