The Pandora Society at the Steampunk World’s Fair

On Thursday we drove about 600 miles from Cincinnati, Ohio to Pistacataway for the biggest attended Steampunk event of them all, the Steampunk World’s Fair!


The International Steampunk Symposium table.

The Steampunk World’s Fair (SPWF) was first held May 14th –16th, 2010 at the Radisson Hotel, Piscataway, New Jersey. The organizers anticipated several hundred people to attend, but nearly 3,000 people attended in the first year, and the flow of Steampunks to New Jersey has not slowed down.

SPWF Embassay

The Embassy Suites, the other half of the SPWF campus.

For 2011 the show moved to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, but in 2012 SPWF grew so much that it was necessary to host the show in two hotels AND the parking lots between the hotels, a space that has become known as the Midway. There is a large performance stage in the Embassy Suites, but the main stage is in the Midway, and this is where headliner band Steam Powered Giraffe will be performing tonight.

SPWF Music

The Midway is home to the largest performance area of the show and many vendors.

With 3,000+ Steampunks descending upon SPWF each year there are plenty of vendors to help kit out aether rookies and steam veterans alike. Unlike many conventions, the SPWF vendors are not contained to one hall . . . they are spread all over the convention . . . some in vendor halls, some in the Midway, some in the Courtyard, and many in the first floor rooms of both hotels with room-vending spaces that transform the hotel rooms in a series of boutiques.

SPWF Fencing

Sword fighting instruction in the Courtyard.

In addition to all the vendors there is also plenty of panels, presenters, and workshops to entertain and educate, and the hallways are bustling with buskers and eccentrics adding a non-stop array of color and magic to this liveliest of Steampunk conventions.


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