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Do you want to perform?  Do you want to give a lecture?  Do you want to vend?  Don't wait to signup: do it today!  Application links are live on the site, so feel free to check them out.  Also coming soon: applications for volunteering!  Check back in a few weeks for more details or catch us at Arisia!  We're still working out the details of our Arisia presence, but we will be in attendance at the very least.

Save the date!

It's official: The 2016 Watch City Steampunk Festival will be Saturday, May 7, 2016 (Rain Date May 8th, so keep that open on your calendar, too!). As with past years, the Festival will be centered on Waltham Common but with a footprint that extends down some of Watch City's surrounding streets to make for a bona fide Watch City Festival! - We the organizers (very much the same core team as 2015) are very much looking forward to putting on a great Festival with you all again in 2016!

Feeling grateful

It's nearly two weeks now since the 2015 Watch City Steampunk Festival—are we allowed to call it the 5th Annual if the Festival skipped a year?—and finally things have settled down to the point where I can begin to reflect and appreciate so many people, and things.

First and foremost, I am so grateful to the many thousands of people who flooded downtown Waltham on Saturday, May 9, 2015: You really made the Watch City Steampunk Festival. Thank you!

Photo Credit: Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis

But it takes a village to transform a village like Waltham into Watch City. It takes a strong and sustained commitment from a great many people, many of whom will forever be anonymous. I made an early effort to publicly appreciate major contributors to the reinvigoration of Watch City in an article for the Waltham News Tribune.

But on Festival Day I saw so many OTHER people adding their talents and energy, from volunteer performers to workers from the city's Consolidated Public Works and Wires Departments to the Waltham Police and Police Auxiliary who provided essential services to keep the Festival running smoothly and the Common clean throughout the day, and then to The Nelson Companies pitching in to tidy things up so well when it was over. As I pulled out of City Hall parking lot just shy of 8:00pm, I glanced over my shoulder and marveled at how there was hardly a trace of the 10,000+ strong throng, that somehow it was possible to think that I'd imagined the whole thing! - To you whose names I'll never know, 10,000 times: Thank you!

Also heretofore anonymous, however, are two people whose invisible but crucial commitment and effort revivified Watch City for the benefit of us all: Lisa Lorgeree and Doug Waybright. Titles aside (they are, respectively, the President and Vice President of the Downtown Waltham Partnership, the host entity of our Festival), the Watch City Steampunk Festival's great comeback in 2015 wouldn't have happened without Doug, who recognized the potential of the Downtown Waltham Partnership to meet the challenge of hosting our Festival and convinced the DWP to take it on after the Charles River Museum could not; and our comeback would not have been possible without Lisa, who was a one woman whirling dervish of a street team, helping secure venues, sponsors, and many other critical, hidden assets that helped Watch City steam on. To you, Lisa and Doug, I offer the thanks of the Waltham and Steampunk communities.

This shot was taken just before the Opening Ceremonies on Festival Day. From right to left, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, Downtown Waltham Partnership President Lisa Lorgeree in her full Steampunk splendor, and Kelly Hill, an active Board Member of many Waltham nonprofits.

This shot was taken just before the Opening Ceremonies on Festival Day. From right to left, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, Downtown Waltham Partnership President Lisa Lorgeree in her full Steampunk splendor, and Kelly Hill, an active Board Member of many Waltham nonprofits.

In closing, I want to offer up A BIG THANK YOU TO THE SPONSORS of the Watch City Steampunk Festival. Our Festival was only possible because of our Sponsors... and because of our Sponsors, the Watch City Steampunk Festival was FREE! How cool is that?

For the entire Organizing Committee of the 2015 Watch City Steampunk Festival, this was a great experience for our City and our Steampunk Community. Citizens of Waltham, Steampunk citizens of Watch City, we thank you for having us and see you next year!

- Bob Perry, Lead Organizer

 

A few more of the many things we're excited about...

...include the Waltham Museum's participation in this year's Watch City Steampunk Festival, with several of their priceless Metz automobiles (made in Waltham!) to be displayed on Carter Street at the souther edge of Waltham Common, and several guided tours during Festival Day.

 

Some of the things you'll learn about at the Waltham Museum include the invention of the kerosene, the Lally column, the first fully integrated factory that kicked off America's industrial revolution in 1813, and more!

The Waltham Farmers' Market is running a Special Spring Market on Festival Day! They'll be chock-full of interesting vendors and will also feature two Steampunk Festival musical performances! And...

The Waltham Land Trust is hosting a Guided History Walk along the Charles River on Festival Day! Participants should gather 1:00pm at the fish ladder at the northeast corner of the dam in Landry Park, just east of the Moody Street enjoy a leisurely nature walk while learning about Waltham's natural and industrial history!

Steam On!

A brief update from a week before Watch City 2015!

Here are a few things to sink your teeth into with barely a week to go before the Watch City Steampunk Festival returns to Waltham:

  • We just posted a great map of the Festival Footprint so you can begin to orient yourself and plan your Festival Day.
  • Part 3 of "The Conundrum," the Festival narrative plot line, has just been published as well. The electrifying drama is building!
  • Bruce Rosenbaum will be installing his H.G. Wells' Time Machine-inspired Humachine at the Center for Digital Arts this afternoon.
  • Tickets to both of our Opening Night events are available for purchase on our Swag page"STEM to STEAM: A Steampunk Artists Salon" features Bruce and his work—and "Around the Globe in 80 Ways" offers special racks of Steampunk-esq clothing and goods pre-curated at Global Thrift with Watch City Characters wandering about to help you put together your outfits. 
  • We will have Festival Buttons and teeshirts available for purchase on our Swag page soon!

The Plot. The Caper. The Conundrum!

Waltham

becomes

Watch City

on

Festival Day.

 

Running Watch City is always frought with challenges.

In 2015 we find that Watch City's leaders face a conundrum:

the City's power grid is failing. What ARE we to do?

Two proposed remedies have emerged.

Discover here the personages, their stories,

and the heightening drama among them that unfolds!


In the wake of a punishing winter which saw a record number of power failures, HER MAJESTY Queen Mercy Roulette called for a hearing last week to discuss a complete redesign of Watch City’s power grid.

A presentation was given by infamous time traveler and mad-hatted aeronaut CAPTAIN EDWARD VON ARKHAM, and renowned scientist and scholar DOCTOR DAVID McMORAN WILSON detailing the redesign.

The proposed power system, developed by Von Arkham and Wilson is based off of the work of the great Nikola Tesla, and would operate on the principle of wireless energy transmission through a network of resonant transformers installed throughout the city. These transformers, or “Tesla Towers” would be built by local workers, and provide Watch City with a steady supply of clean wireless energy.

The original system, created by Nikola Tesla, was designed to sustain a global wireless network, though it was ultimately abandoned owing to lack of funding. 

The Proposed Watch City grid would be funded by a 2% tax increase on electricity. At the proposal last week, QUEEN MERCY was quoted as saying, “Watch City's in urgent crisis and the intrepid Captain has proposed a reasonable and robust solution worthy of my people.” Captain Von Arkham added, “In my time stream, Tesla’s vision was realized and the world is bright, just as it could and will be for Watch City."....

The Great Outdoor Steampunk Festival returns this May!

Centered on Waltham’s beautiful Common at the corner of Main and Moody Streets, the Watch City Steampunk Festival is the great outdoor festival of the Steampunk genre—a cultural and social movement melding elements of Victorian-era history and fashion with retro-futuristic technology.

Watch_city_2015 Final logo.png

Watch City 2015 will featuring a broad array of theatrical and musical performers as well as clothing, jewelry, art, and food vendors. The Festival is will also include kids programming, making this most definitely a family friendly event, as well.

Oh, and the Watch City Steampunk Festival also has a narrative plot line... something of a dilemma... a genuine quandary... The Conundrum. And festival goers on Festival Day will help us make the most difficult but necessary choice. - Be sure to check back regularly, as details emerge, the plot thickens, and our choices are made clear!

More Festival details will be shared here in the days and weeks to come. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WatchCitySteampunkFestival and on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WatchCityFest (@WatchCityFest).

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, May 9th!

(Please note, in the event of inclement weather on Saturday May 9th, the Festival has a rain date of Sunday, May 10, 2015. – Any decision to postpone will be made late Friday afternoon, May 8, 2015.)