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Morris Arboretum hosts STEAMpunk Expo

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By Digital First Media Staff

What is steampunk you ask? According to www.merriam-webster.com it is “science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology.”
On Sunday June 12 you can get a taste of steampunk when Morris Arboretum hosts STEAMpunk Expo, “where the mad science of the industrial age meets romantic Victoriana.”

Pictured here are steampunk enthusiasts, Chelsea Melvin and Bryan Thompson-Nowak, touring the Arboretumís Victorian fernery, built in 1899. Photo by  Marie Ingegneri

Pictured here are steampunk enthusiasts, Chelsea Melvin and Bryan Thompson-Nowak, touring the Arboretumís Victorian fernery, built in 1899.
Photo by Marie Ingegneri

Morris Arboretum’s 92-acre invites visitors to explore the genre of science fiction, fashion and lifestyle inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery to create an alternative history. The arboretum boasts to be the home of the “only remaining freestanding Victorian fernery in North America,” according to a press release.

IF YOU GO
What: Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
Where: 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Chestnut Hill
When: Open weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (April-October). Open late on Wednesdays in June, July, and August until 8 p.m.
Admission: $17 for adults; $9 for youths 3 to 17; $15 for seniors 65 and older; $9 for students, active and retired military with ID. Free for children under 3. Group rates are available, call for information.
Info.: Check www.morrisarboretum.org or call 215-247-5777.

Learn about this unique sub-culture through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) related family workshops, artistic performances, and lectures all happening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The STEAM element of steampunk will be explored through a variety of activities that include education instructions, theater, aerial artistry, science stations, art installations and much more throughout the arboretum.
Also on site will be a visitor fashion contest with the winner posted on Instagram, steampunk ware vendors, and food fit for the steampunk devotee.
Curious about steampunk dress code? Women don corsets, feminine skirts, and carry parasols, while men dress in vests with ascot ties, a top hat or pith helmet, and machinist goggles, organizers explain. Gears, cogs and other machinery parts are also used to create the final look, some minimal, others on a more grand scale. Costumed guests are invited to stop by the Japanese Bell to have their photo taken for the fashion contest. Volunteer judges will review all photos and select the “best of the dressed,” whose photo will be posted on Instagram, Monday following the event. Vendors will be available offering items such as jewelry, clothing, hats, and other accessories for purchase.
And, if you want a taste of steampunk, the Compton Cafe will be featuring steak and ale pies for a taste of old England along with traditional lunch options. The cafe is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All activities are free with arboretum admission and no reservations are required. For more information, check morrisarboretum.org/steampunk.

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