Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Teapot Tuesday: Featured Teapot Racer, Splendid Rat Racer

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This cute little rodent was the passenger in Jim Thompson's and Lori Hoffmann's entry in the Splendid Teapot Races at Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, Missouri, September 3, 2016.

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There are a couple things that make these competitors stick out in my mind. One, they were the most serious about getting practice time in before the race.

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And two, this was the first time that I've seen the judges bribed with liquid refreshments that weren't tea.

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Boozy treats for the judges, presented on a silver tray.

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One of the judges fortifying himself before the beginning of the race (how to brace yourself for potentially vexing racers).



Splendid Rat Racer finished the course in only 1 minute, 43 seconds, without giving any manual assistance to the vehicle.  They received excellent marks on the quality of their bribe and on showmanship. The judges also praised their driving. The only thing they lost any points on, was a couple points for vexing the judges.





Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#TeapotTuesday: Featured Teapot Racer, Wicked

Today's featured teapot racer is "Wicked".
This macabre tea party on wheels was created and driven by Rachel Benson at Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, Missouri.
Sept. 3, 2016

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Bribing the judges:
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The Cheshire Cat was told to "stay" at the starting line and was so obedient that he remained until after the race.
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"Wicked" finished the course in 1minute, 58 seconds.
Rachel received extra points for the quality of her bribe and her adorable dress.

The drag race was an optional event, to keep the racers and audience engaged while the judges tallied up the scores from the obstacle course. "Wicked" was one of the five racers who competed, although it did not win.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Teapot Tuesday: Featured Teapot Racer, "Tempest in a Teapot"

From Big River Steampunk Festival, Hannibal, Missouri
Sept. 3, 2016

This clever, purple octopus teapot racer, driven and created by Lady Mary Aurelia, was the first competitor in Missouri's first ever Splendid Teapot Races.

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Lady Mary presented each of the judges with a bribe before taking her place at the starting line.

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The film quality is not everything I could have hoped for, but you can watch "Tempest in a Teapot" traverse the obstacle course:



"Tempest in a Teapot" completed the course in 1minute, 18 seconds, making it the third fastest racer of the day.
Each of the judges deducted a single point from Lady Mary's over-all score for being vexing, but they both liked her attire.


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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Scenes from Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, Missouri

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Hannibal is a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River, that has preserved its Victorian era buildings and charm, along with paying tribute to its most popular son of that era, Mark Twain. It is the perfect setting for a steampunk festival, since even on non-festival days a river boat gives tours of the Mississippi river, there are cave tours of the cave described in the book Tom Sawyer,  the beautifully restored downtown has abundant antiquing opportunities, a brick street of houses significant to the life of Mark Twain runs perpendicular to Main Street, and trains carrying coal roll through town.

The view from Lover's Leap:
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A small flower garden sits atop a hill, overlooking the river.
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The Hannibal History Museum is free and is the center of operations for Big River Steampunk Festival.
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Touring the museums on Friday, before the festival began on Saturday.
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Directly across the street from the Hannibal History Museum, is the Mark Twain History Museum, which does charge an entrance fee, but is full of fun, interactive displays.

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We chose to camp just a little ways outside of town at the Mark Twain Cave Campground, in the tiny community of Cave Hollow.
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I never met the cat, but all the people I met, including the guests, were helpful and friendly.

Camping was mostly chosen as a way of saving money (four nights in a site with electricity was only $108). We didn't spend much time in camp and mostly lived on cold food until our final night, because I didn't want to go into town smelling like smoke, but camping was a good decision. The weather was nice, there were almost no mosquitoes, the showers were hot, and the WiFi was reliable.

While we were gone, hurricane Hermine struck Tallahassee, knocking out all of the power for several days and making some streets impassable, due to fallen trees. We had far more amenities in the campground than DH had at home.

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We were at the festival to run teapot racing both Saturday and Sunday and I will start posting featured teapot racers from those races this coming Tuesday.

Big River Steampunk Festival provided us with two tents and two tables right next to the Main Street stage, so we got lots of attention and were entertained.

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I brought some extra racers along for people to try throughout the day.

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From our spot on Main Street, we were able to watch the parade on Saturday morning.

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All day long, there were free shows and contests on the Main Street stage.

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There was even a wedding:


People watching was also fun from where we were.
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We attended two of the premium events, which happened in the evening, after we had packed away all the teapot racing gear for the day. One was STEAMAPALOOZA, a concert with Frenchy and the Punk and the Marquis of Vaudeville.

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This was in a park right on the banks of the Mississippi, on an amazing, custom built stage.

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Comedian/juggler Crazy Boy Coy preforming in between musical acts:
(Turn up the volume. The video is not very loud and he is funny.)


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The other special evening event was The Time Travelers Ball, aboard the Mark Twain River Boat.
The Steampunk Stompers put on a fantastic show and Doc Phineas, who is the life of any party he attends, sang and tap danced during a couple numbers.

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Monday, we were tourists.
We wondered around looking at vendors and took the boat tour, then completed our day with the first and only campfire of our trip.

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Tuesday morning, it was time to pack up and start homeward,

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but first, we wanted to tour the Mark Twain Cave. After packing the car, we were hot and sweaty, but it's always cool in the cave.

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We drove away from Hannibal listening to the new Steampunk Stompers CD I had purchased at the Time Travelers Ball, followed by many hours of the audio-book of Tom Sawyer.

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Crafty Crow