The Big River Steampunk Festival was first held last year in Hannibal to honor the city's local contributions during the Industrial Revolution. The odd part is this "steampunk" style of celebration. The 2015 Big River Steampunk Festival is coming back to Hannibal Labor Day Weekend, but what exactly is this whole "steampunk" thing, and why is it coming to America's Hometown?

Dictionary.com defines steampunk as "a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy featuring advanced machines and other technology based on steam power of the 19th century and taking place in a recognizable historical period or a fantasy world" and dates it as beginning in the mid 80s as a branch-off of another subgenre called "cyberpunk." This fantastical subgenre, just as with science fiction and fantasy, has earned a very dedicated and specific following since its inception. With its own unique culture of fans donning period dress and various brass gizmos and gadgets, its own style of literature and music, and with its occasional but noticeable influence in films and even video games, steampunk is slowly gaining more legitimacy.

One extremely interesting feature is the stage entertainment and music of steampunk. Stage acts usually draw most of their inspiration from the great vaudeville acts of the eary 20th century while the music tends to combine elements of folk, early jazz and ragtime, and even modern electro-pop to create tunes that sound just as lost in time as the culture itself. With with with names like Beard and Bean, The Steampunk Stompers, and Vorteque among the list of musical entertainers at the Hannibal festival this year, it seems as though the weekend will be quite the hootenanny!

Be sure to mark your calendars now for Labor Day weekend (Sept 5-7) and go check out Hannibal's Big River Steampunk Festival's website for even more info!