Combine the Victorian era and innovative technology with a heaping spoonful of fantasy.
That's the recipe for steampunk and the results fall somewhere between Albert Einstein, the Wild West and Mad Max without Thunder Dome.
In this fantastical world, machines are re-imagined and Victorian wardrobes are laced with non-conformity. Leather, brass and industrial gadgets are turned into unorthodox essentials of time-travelers in what is often a post-apocalyptic era.
So how did this retro-futuristic genre get its name? 'Steampunk', first coined in 1987, refers to the Victorian age of steam-powered machines melded with the 'punk' attitude of non-conformity, creativity and unrestrained individuality. This science-fiction genre is present in art, music, fashion, film and especially literature. The term now post-dates to include the works Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and others.
Since its modest inaugural event in 2012, Renninger's Steampunk Industrial Show show has grown to what is arguably the largest festival of its kind in the Southeast. The event is set under the oak trees of Mount Dora and features over 150 vendors with top steampunk entertainers and arguably some of the most acclaimed Steampunk artists east of Texas. Due to the success of the show Renningers began hosting the event twice a year in January and October.
Now in its fifth year, the show quickly formed its own traditions with the Splendid Teapot Race, a high tea, plus steampunk horse and carriage rides. The entertainment throughout the weekend also reflects the hybrid nature of steampunk with acts ranging from magic and belly dancing to music by some of the best bands in the genre. This year also brings something new to the festivities, a Steampunk Ball on Saturday evening.
The next Steampunk Industrial Show is this weekend, January 23 & 24 from 9am-5pm at Renningers Antique Center, 20651 US 441, Mount Dora. Parking and admission are free. Tickets for the Steampunk Ball are $15, for reservations call 352-383-8393.