Every year Durango holds a themed, community-based event called Snowdown. The theme for this year’s five-day, annual Snowdown event is Steampunk. Many are left scratching their head about this year's theme, not many people seem to know much about the subgenre of Steampunk.
What is Steampunk?
Steampunk contains the image of the Wild West gunslinger, Victorian era mechanics and a Victorian idea of the future, Nikki Morrissey, owner of Durango Antique Market, said.
The theme for each Snowdown is decided by the board of directors after taking in
suggestions from the Durango community, said Chip Lile, a board member and the event coordinator of Snowdown.
“We try to choose a theme that is creative and fun for the community,” Lile said.
Origination of Steampunk
The TV show, "The Wild Wild West”, popularized the combination the historical American West and the futuristic technology, Susan Cardin, Durango Antique Market patron, said.
“The Wild Wild West” was a TV show in the 1960’s that followed the adventures of two, 19th century secret Service agents, who were in possession of advanced technology, she said.
The show was redone as a movie and the film version is what solidified the mechanical steam-powered understanding of Steampunk, Cardin said.
Durango already has an affiliation with the Steampunk culture because of its location and history. It is in the western part of the United States where gunslingers and train robberies are commonly associated.
The steam-powered train is an aspect of Durango that highlights the Wild West era. That’s one reason why our town is so perfect for this Steampunk theme, Morrissey said.
This year’s theme has a wide variety of interpretations, Morrissey said.
Common steampunk accessories are brass goggles, top hats, corsets, vests, gears, and keys she said. People can put them together to create their unique costumes.
“Steampunk requires more effort and thinking when it comes to planning costumes, and I expect people to be engaged with the theme,” Lile said.
If people enjoy the theme and have fun with it, there will be a lot of interesting costumes out there, Lile said.