San Diego Steampunk Celebration

Goggles on, SoCalers; San Diego's getting a heavy dose of fantasy.

Jerry Abuan

ADVENTURE TIME: One of the tenets of Steampunk, that all-encompassing genre that celebrates the fantastic and the Victorian (and often the Edwardian), is this: Characters, be they fictional or real people who are in costume, should be having some sort of adventure. Travel themes are often involved, as are ghosts -- spiritualism reigned during the era -- and all sorts of wondrous, highly cinematic plots. And when a Steampunk convention comes along, it matters not where it is, as travel is at the heart of the genre. But San Diego is a very fine choice for a Steampunkian soiree. It's got a strong late-19th century spirit to many of its buildings -- Whaley House, we're looking at you -- and, of course, there's the Gaslamp District, which, come evening, looks as if it might have been plucked straight from a Steampunk romance novel. If you're in any of those spots from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5, and you see people in wearing brass breastplates and fanciful bowler hats, know you've encountered the Gaslight Gathering 3: A Steampunk & Victoriana Convention.

MUSIC, AUTHORS, TALK: The schedule is full over the three days, but here are a few take-a-load-off and enjoy events (and by take a load off, we mean slip out of that brassy mechanical backpack that's frequently rocked by Steampunk devotees). A baroque concert, a charity auction, workshops on how to make things (including goggles, natch), and the Penny Farthing Bicycle Club demo. Truly, if it is a nook or cranny within the Steampunk universe, it shall be explored at the Town & Country in San Diego. Oh, that's HQ for the convention, if you're planning to land your fanciful zeppelin anywhere. Cheerio and ahoy, adventurers!

photo: Jerry Abuan Photography

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