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Best of the West

4/30/2012
Angela Cato, Arts & Cultural Services | ACato@wichita.gov | (316) 303-8639

Cowtown’s Steampunk Day honored by magazine

Old Cowtown Museum’s Steampunk Day has caught the attention of a worldwide audience, thanks to its inclusion in True West magazine’s just-released 2012 “Best of the West” list. The annual Cowtown event was voted “Best Steampunk Expo” and applauded by editors for its originality.

“The best one we’ve seen devoted to the Wild West form of Steampunk is the expo at Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, Kansas,” the editors said. “Normally such expos are held in some run-of-the-mill convention hall. But folks can really get into the spirit walking around Old Cowtown’s drover’s camp, trader’s area and 1870s residential street.”

Steampunk Day has been taking place at Cowtown since 2010 and has become popular with both local residents and tourists from surrounding states. Steampunk is inspired by Victorian science fiction – think of Jules Verne or H.G. Wells – with some influences from turn-of-the century Barnum & Bailey carnivals.

During Steampunk Day, fans of the genre entertain visitors with performances and presentations and stroll around Cowtown’s streets dressed in traditional 19th century fashion accessorized with mechanical gadgets, goggles, gears and other pre-modern imaginative technology. The cornerstone of the Steampunk movement is taking modern inventions – the internet, weaponry, clocks – and re-imagining how they would look had they been created with Victorian technology and materials.

Cowtown’s third annual Steampunk Day will take place from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. More information about the event is available on OldCowtown.org or by calling (316) 350-3323. Photos from previous Steampunk events are also posted on the Web site.

Old West Magazine has been in existence since 1953 and is currently based out of Cave Creek, Ariz. The magazine is devoted to keeping the spirit and heritage of the West alive. Each issue reaches more than 200,000 readers in 12 countries.

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