Oh joy! It is time once again for that most extensive and fabulous of events, the Steampunk World’s Fair. Since I need to make a to-do list and am also overdue for a post here, I thought I’d share my planning and packing process with you, dear reader, and only have to type it up once.
2008 – 2014: Make and acquire cool steampunk outfits to wear. Phineas and I like to debut a new ensemble at World’s Fair. We had a croquet party last September, and made ourselves Weird West outfits for that. Haven’t made anything new since, so that will have to do.
Sewing Sundays, 2014: We have friends coming with us this year who’ve never been to a steampunk event longer than a few hours. They asked us for help getting ready, and we’ve spent several happy days together getting ready.
Saturday before Fair: Go on the SPWF website. Read through the workshops and performances, and make a “I’ll so, so regret missing this” list. Schedule to be worked out later. There’s just so much to do, I like to go with the flow for the most part, but if I miss The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, I will be inconsolable.
Sunday before Fair: Consult the schedule, which will hopefully be posted by this time. It’s HERE. Put together a clothing battle plan. We will assemble a folding clothing rack (after it’s use in our yard sale on Saturday) and put a suitcase under it.
Then we review our schedule, the weather forecast for Piscataway, and whatever scheduling is up at the Fair website, and from that info and our walk-in TARDIS closet, we’ll figure out what to wear. This will also involve consultation with our family and friends, as there are outfits that are more fun to wear together – Tesla Corps, SteamStuck, Steampunk Teen Titans (the kids, not Phineas and I, unless we want to do our Green Arrow and Black Canary at the same time.)
As we decide on outfits – Friday night, Saturday breakfast, Saturday day, Saturday night, Sunday breakfast, Sunday – we hang them on the rack, checking for stains, tears, missing buttons, and making sure every piece and accessory is together. Hanging stuff on the rack, corsets, shoes, socks, spats, and other accessories go in the suitcase. Remember hats and pouches/reticules/some way to carry stuff you need, weapons, robot arms, etc. And not forgetting sock and underwear after getting together all the flash and glitz.
During the week leading up to Fair: Pack room decorations into a foot locker that has castors screwed to the bottom. (More on that next paragraph.) We like to entertain in our room at Fair, and we absolutely love altering the appearance of the room, to juice up the elegance and make the room our own. This is why steampunks bring ice buckets to hotels – hotel ice buckets are insufficiently elegant. We pack the trunk with stuff from our house to brighten up, class up, and weird up our hotel room. (Madame’s burlesque fans hide ugly hotel lamps admirably.)
You know how you can never get one of those rolling trolley things when you’re checking in and out of hotels during big events? Go to yard sales and junk shops and get foot lockers for cheap. Go to the hardware store and buy castors. Afix castors to bottom of trunks. Drill a hole through front and back of trunk at one end, and tie a bit of clothesline through the holes. Now you have a ton of storage that you can pile up with your other luggage and pull behind you into the elevator. Also serves as a coffee table in the room.
Wednesday before Fair: Gather party supplies. Linens, thrift shop collection of silver-plated serving dishes, the box of $1 champagne flutes left over from our wedding, booze, food. Clear a shelf in the fridge so all the perishables can assemble before getting thrown in a cooler Friday morning.
Also: Assemble food. Water, snacks, espresso maker and coffee. This year we’re bringing a crock pot and rice cooker with a pre-made stew ready to throw in it Saturday, so we don’t have to stop having fun to sit down and eat.
Thursday: Pack everything except people and perishable food into vehicle.
Friday morning: Make coffee. Call the school and let them down gently. They will not have the pleasure of our children’s company for the day. Gives the other kids a chance to catch up. Eat something. Make more coffee. Load people and food into vehicle. Go.
Here we are, the night before, with room for one cooler and the luggage of another teen!
Looking forward to seeing you there, darlings!