BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
LAYTON — Take a journey into a past that never was.
Salt City Steamfest, a convention celebrating the alternative history genre known as steampunk, is coming to the Davis Conference Center July 26-28. The event includes a variety of activities exploring all areas of steampunk, including workshops, concerts, a fancy dress ball and much more.
“It’s an immersive convention,” said Steamfest creator Tenisha Hicks. “It’s kind of like the Dickens festival, but people are walking around in clothing from Victorian England.”
Steampunk is a science-fiction subgenre where technology is built on steam rather than electrical power. Settings will often have either a Victorian England or Old West feel, often with the addition of anachronistic technology such as airships and telegraphs.
“Steampunk is what happens when you get a makers’ society together who bases its hobbies in the Victorian era,” said Hicks. “Think Sherlock Holmes, basically.”
A look at the convention activities shows that the options are far more varied than that. Though sign-ups for “Adventurers” activities are closed, attendees can still watch a falconer at work and experience a guide on how to start ghost hunting, a steampunk movie marathon, shopping and workshops touching on all aspects of steampunk culture.
Many of those workshops focus on creating and maintaining steampunk-style costumes. Though convention regulars will dress up in highly elaborate costumes, complete with fake weaponry, Hicks advises newcomers not to worry about competing.
“If you want to pull something together, you’re welcome to,” she said. “But if not, don’t worry about it. We’re very warm and welcoming, and you can get ideas when you get here.”
Online registration is closed, but guests can still pay at the door the day of the advent. Admission costs $15 per day on Friday or Saturday, $5 for Sunday, or $30 for the entire weekend.
“I highly suggest people get there early,” said Hicks. “They don’t want to miss anything.”
Even if they did, Hicks is hoping to bring Steamfest back to Layton next year.
“It’s a nice venue, and you can really play with it,” she said. “I’m hoping to be able to work out a long-term relationship with the conference center.”