Steampunk Retro-Futurism Party Comes to First Friday

PUTNAM — Tighten your goggles and slap on your top hat!  Get ready for a futuristic adventure, based largely on a turn of the 20th-century version Putnam, as we celebrate our town’s industrial past with an unusual vision of the future.  Welcome to Downtown Putnam’s first ever Steampunk event with legendary speakers and amazing art installations. Shop the many themed vendors, see cosplayers from around the region, and stay late for Steampunk the After-Hours Pub Crawl.

The Putnam Business Association’s First Fridays Committee will present its sixth in the series of six events in the 2019 season “Made in America” from 5pm-9pm – Friday, October 4th.

The American Legion Post #13 will officially start the event at 5 presenting the Color Guard.  The National Anthem will be sung by Elle Jordyn-Goslin, a native of northeastern Connecticut. She sings a variety of popular acoustic music at local restaurants and bars. She is also the director of alumni relations at QVCC and is happy to entertain as the volunteer sponsor with the QVCC Alumni Association.

The festival will kick off with a proclamation and opening address from Steampunk Ambassador David Carlson of Manchester.  David is a purveyor of all things Steampunk, and organizes “12 Months of Steampunk”, a series of events held across Connecticut.

The special guest speaker of the evening will be Bruce Rosenbaum, artist, designer and curator in the steampunk community.  He will be speaking at 6 p.m. at Victoria Station Cafe, upper level.  Bruce has been dubbed the Steampunk Guru by the Wall Street Journal and has been featured in the Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and HGTV, among others.  Admission is free, and is highly recommended for students and educators.

There are two special featured artist. First is PunkCake Alterno Art, a collective from Worcester, known for pop-up art installations.  Visit their “Impossible Zoo,” located in Art Alley, between 85 Main and Bear Hands Brewery, for photo-ops and interaction with their creations.  Also visit “A Clockwork Wired,” a larger-than-life, immersive art installation in the Montgomery Ward Atrium.  Also featured this month will be photographer Laurie Brandt who will be capturing moments of the event on film.

Costumes are encouraged!  Dress with your best Victorian or Turn-of-the-Century flair or go all-in with a fully realized Steampunk character of your own making.  Are you an airship captain, an explorer/adventurer, or perhaps a scientist or mechanic.  The best will be judged in our Steampunk Costume Contest, at 7 p.m. in the tent in front of the Congregational Church of Putnam. Sign up at or at the PBA tent on Main Street.  Gift card prizes will be awarded in both youth and adult categories.

Entries in our Gadget & Gizmo Contest will be on display in store windows along Main Street.  Vote for your fan favorite at the PBA booth on Main Street.

“Carlson’s Creepy Carolers” will be singing Halloween Carols along Main Street.  They may also engage in random acts of “reverse trick-or-treating.”  We are not sure what that means, but they might actually be giving treats out!

Restaurants and food vendors will be offering delicious food and beverage. Look for special offerings.  The Young Marines will be selling cotton candy on Main Street. Many Main Street restaurants will be participating in our After-Hours Pub Crawl, beginning around 8.  Check venues for special live musical performances, drink and appetizer specials. Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) Alumni Association is the Volunteer Spotlight Group. Community  Arts is hosted by Windows Art Gallery of Putnam and Tunk City Revival of Danielson. Tunk City is offering Wooden Robots and Steampunk Creatures.  Windows Art Gallery is offering Steampunk Factory Crafts.
The Complex will be doing two performances. One will be a Beat Bucket performance at 6:30pm by the students of The Complex and another  will be a performance by members of the cast of Urinetown at 7:15pm.

Green Valley Glass, located at 22 South Main Street, will be hosting a glass blowing demonstration from 5:00pm to 8:00pm by Daniel Maiorino of Dan Merman Glassworks.  A ribbon cutting is planned for 6pm.

More than 50 art and food vendors will be in attendance, including several Steampunk-themed crafters and artists.

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