You Are Browsing ' Steampunk’s World Faire ' Tag

By otakuman5000 On 28 Feb, 2014 At 05:13 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe winter this year in New York has been particularly harsh on everyone, both mentally and physically. The Vikings even thought Ragnarok, the Viking Apocalypse was scheduled for this weekend.

{cue Led Zeppelin – Immigrant song here}

So it was no surprise to me, that when I looked at my significant other last week during dinner and casually asked “So… what do you want to do this weekend?” that they sighed, returning with nothing but a non-committal shrug. Then, through a series of strange events, we found ourselves with our car packed to the hilt (it’s normal to need eight tiaras for a weekend…right?), on the road to New Jersey for Jeff Mach’s Wicked Faire, which turned out to be the perfect cure for the winter blues.

I SPIT FIRE AT YOU, WINTER

What exactly IS Wicked Faire? The more accurate question is what ISN’T Wicked Faire? It is part convention, part renaissance festival, part music festival, but 100% stress-free fun, as I quickly found out. The following is taken from the About section of the Wicked Faire website, and I would absolutely agree that this is an accurate assessment:

“The Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire is a miniature explosion of entertainment and activity, wrapped up in a fresh-baked Renaissance Faire exterior, filled to the brim with big tasty chunks of well-seasoned festival, spiced with a bit of convention, then dipped in a sauce of non-convention, and served at a terribly low price during one fantastic frenetic weekend every year. There are so many madly diverse fun things going on at any one time that, in general, if you come looking to find a good time, you are damn likely to find one.”

(Read more here: Wicked Faire: About )

Wicked Faire is an extravagant, fascinating, enthralling, all-you-can-experience buffet of entertainment, shows, interactions and fun. It is devoted to creating a weekend of acceptance, and creating a space where any non-normative person can express themselves; be it through geek, steampunk, kink, sexuality, renaissance, cosplay, burlesque et cetera. You can be as dressed up or as dressed down as you like – I wore cocktail dresses all weekend while a friend I was with wore jeans and a geeky T-shirt and we both still garnered an equal amount of positive attention. There were a variety of things to do, people to see and musicians to watch. There was a secondary festival going on at the same time, Voltaire’s Necrocomiccon, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any time to check that event out (though I really wanted to!)

We had gotten to New Jersey on Friday at about 10 PM, after a few GPS mishaps and a quick Taco Bell break. We checked in at the Doubletree Somerset, and received room keys, which apparently also came with free chocolate chip cookies. Free cookies are always a great start to a convention.

FREE COOKIES

After a quick costume change and some light social interaction, we went party hopping within the hotel, which was fun in and of itself. I woke up at 11 AM on Saturday and decided to check out the dealers rooms. The vendors themselves were incredibly varied, from leather armour to teas, steampunk hats, knives, gourmet dipping sauces, and hair flowers. I spent a good three hours inside the rooms (that’s a long time when you’re hungover), talking to all of the vendors. We all laughed about my state of hangover, and one of them even gave me aspirin. All of the goods being sold were of high quality with an emphasis on homemade, and the fact that the vendors actually took the time to talk to me in depth about their products despite only buying a few small things, shows that they care about their consumer base.

I have provided links to a few of the vendors I personally talked to over the weekend with a glimpse of some of my favorite products of theirs:

– Gorgeous handcrafted wire elf and dragon ears jewellery with precious stones: Belethil, Jewelry by Alanya Divine

I love this so much. What’s great about these is you can wear them to LARPs, or as standalone jewellery.

– Handcrafted steampunk and leather hats, goggles and other accessories: The Blonde Swan

I love red, I love lace, and I love hats… so naturally I love this.

– Hand blended artisan teas that are inspired by music, works of literature and fantasy art. Gluten free and vegan friendly! Dryad Tea:

TEA DELICIOUS TEA

– Infused oils, dips, kitchen wares and cookbooks with a pagan touch: Cucina Aurora 

I cannot stress how delicious this infused oil was enough.

– Handcrafted hair flowers, sticks and fascinators: Pyraara

I love the combo of hair flower + feather.

Saturday afternoon I caught a cello performance by The Wandering Cellist. I had played cello all throughout secondary school, and the technical skill displayed was astounding. It should also be noted that Mike covered “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica on cello. I REALLY wish I had caught it on video, but I felt my cell phone recording wouldn’t do it justice. You can find more cello music here: The Wandering Cellist 

Saturday evening we caught Busts & Trunks Burlesque show. They are a division of the Ocelot on a Leash Theater Company, and are from Philadelphia. The Busts and Trunks division caters specifically to geek culture, and the show they had put on Saturday night was entirely Doctor Who themed. They were incredibly awesome and varied in their performances, and my favorite performance was an Amy & Rory burlesque number to Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” closely followed by a second favorite of a Captain Jack Harkness boylesque number.

Busts & Trucks Burlesque

Our Sunday was a bit more relaxed. Though we wanted to do more, we only went to a couple of other things, an awesome pastie-making workshop by the girls of Busts & Trunks, and another burlesque show, this time by The White Elephant Burlesque Society, who hail from New Jersey. I’m pretty sure I lost my voice from cheering so hard between the two shows. This show was a bit less nerd oriented, but still just as entertaining, with a variety in content; there was ballet, traditional Hawaiian dancing, chair and fan dancing were all used in their acts. One member of their troupe, Holly Ween, ate cookies like Cookie Monster while dancing to Lady Gaga. It was incredible.

Delicious, delicious cookies…

The weekend setlist for WEBS can be found here

All in all, I would have to say as a first time attendee, that Wicked Faire was a LOT of fun for everyone, regardless of what subculture you’re into, and I would definitely go back! I’ve also made tentative plans to attend Steampunk’s World Faire, which runs Friday, May 16th – Sunday, May 18th, 2014 in Piscataway, NJ and is also run by Jeff Mach events. You, dear reader, should come along too.

Until next time, this is Sofie Sohan signing out!