Sunday, July 12, 2015

Be a Part of the Dream! Create An Ambiance Room in the Silver Queen.

Would you like to get involved in this year's Victorian Steampunk Ball September 19, 2015 - buy tickets at -  in a fun way while getting a great place to stay in one of Virginia City's historic hotels?  We have a great opportunity for you in the form of seven available Ambiance Rooms in the Silver Queen Hotel, Even better, the entrance to the rooms is right across the street from Piper's Opera House!  You'll have the closest rooms to everything that is happening.

High Desert Steam is looking for people who would like to stylize their rooms and welcome guests throughout the day as they join us in Virginia City.  Some examples of rooms already committed to are a 1920's Prohibition Room, a kid friendly Gaming Parlor, and a Boutique where there will be Steamy Vending.

You will be able to sleep in your room, so this is good news for those looking for a place to stay in a town where rooms are hard to find!

Keep in mind when planning your space that rooms are not large, that furniture is fragile, and that you may not damage walls or do any permanent changes to the space.  We are taking applications, so not everyone applying will automatically be approved.  We are looking for creativity, Steamy themes, special perks for HDS Sustaining Members, and that little something that makes us say wow!

Do not delay in submitting your ideas!  The Ball is approaching faster than you think, and we need to nail down all the loose ends.  For additional information, see the application.

Find the application here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ball Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets to the High Desert Steam Fifth Annual Victorial Steam Punk Ball: Pirates Invade! are now available for purchase to the general public!  Join us September 19 on the Comstock for our annual costumed dance and to repel the pirates (or to talk like one)!

This promises to be a splendiferous night of dancing and music at Piper's Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada coupled with a raucous party across the way at the Silver Queen Hotel and Saloon. Tickets Sell out every year, so do not delay your purchase if you wish to attend!  Also be sure to book hotel rooms immediately, as they fill far before the event.

Early Tickets are $40, Regular Tickets will be $45, and Late Tickets will be $50.  Children's 12 and under tickets are $25.  Sustaining Member Tickets are $35, but we are limited in our number of available spaces, so we cannot hold tickets even for members.

Follow This Link To Get Your Ball Tickets

We can't wait to see you in the Fall!  If you need a membership coupon code, please contact us.  If you would like to join HDS, please click on the Tab above!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

We are looking for Symposium and Workshop Leaders for the High Desert Steampunk Expo

2015 High Desert Steampunk Expo Symposia Information

If you have any questions about hosting a symposium or workshop at the High Desert Steampunk Expo that are not answered on this page, please drop an email to .  The deadline to submit a panel for the High desert Steampunk Expo 2015 is April 5, 2015. The Panel Request form is available here, but please read ALL of the information on this page before submitting a request. The information on this page may be updated periodically. Stay tuned for updates to the information.

A symposium, you say?  What is that?  Indeed, some expansion is required. What follows is the entry for symposium as found on the free dictionary:
n. pl. sym·po·si·ums or sym·po·si·a (-zē-ə)
1. meeting or conference for discussion of a topic, especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations.
2. collection of writings on a particular topic, as in a magazine.
3. convivial meeting for drinking, music, and intellectual discussion among the ancient Greeks.

Now, my favorite form of Symposium is that outlined in the third definition.  The Greeks really knew how to have an intellectual discussion.  Sadly, the first definition is what we are set up for at the High Desert Steampunk Expo. Feel free to add in some of the sprit of Number 3. Anything to engage and maintain the interest of the audience, right?  Now, on to the business of organization.  This year, we shall have three spaces for indoctrinating people into your way of doing things or thinking things:
  • The Symposium Emporium - a Space reserved in the front of the hall for pontificating and discussions,
  • The Central Stage - an elevated stage for performances, fashion shows, and the like, and
  • The Workshop Space - a Space along the back wall that will be set up with tables for both participants and teachers.

Symposium Emporium and Workshop Space Equipment

  • A table is provided at the front of the room for the symposia leaders, as are chairs.
  • Chairs for attendees are in the symposium emporium space.
  • Tables and chairs for attendees are provided in the workshop space.
  • The High Desert Steampunk Expo will not provide internet access in the Symposium Emporium nor in the workshop room. Panelists are advised to have prepared presentations and screenshots.
  • A microphone and sound system will be provided to each symposium/workshop space.
  • Given the nature of the venue, it will not be possible to dim lights and use overhead projectors, so plan accordingly.
  • The High Desert Steampunk Expo does not provide prizes to distribute for symposium games/participation. If symposium leaders want to have prizes to give out for games/quizzes/participation/etc., they should provide their own prizes.
  • Anything not listed above is not standard equipment for any of the spaces, and we may not be able to provide it. Please highlight special requests for equipment in the tech section of your panel request form, and be aware that your Symposium or Workshop will not be approved if we are not able to provide the equipment you request.

Program Guide Listing Character Limits:

  • Titles must be 30 characters or less.
  • Descriptions must be 300 characters or less.
  • Both of these limits include spaces.
  • Submissions that do not adhere to these limits will be edited by High Desert Steampunk Expo staff.

Symposium Lengths:

When considering how long you want your symposium to be consider the following:
  • Symposia can be scheduled for 1 or 2-hour blocks.
  • All symposia will start on the hour and end no later than 10 minutes before the hour. This allows for 10 minutes for set-up and breakdown between symposiums.
  • Ideally, symposia should run 50 or 110 minutes long. This allows for 10 minutes for set-up and breakdown between symposia.
  • A symposium should be 40 minutes long at a minimum.
  • If you will not need a full 1 or 2-hour time block please notify us in your symposium application so that we can schedule accordingly.
  • Symposia that are only 90 minutes long will be scheduled for a 2-hour block.
  • If you will require extra time for set-up and break-down of your panel please notify us in your panel application form.
  • Allow for set-up and breakdown when making your time estimates.

Symposium Content:

  • All symposia are assumed to contain material that is suitable for all ages unless the panelist specifically states that the panel will contain mature content.
  • If the symposium contains content that may be classified as "adult material" symposium leaders must inform the staff PRIOR to the convention, on the panel application form.

Workshop Information:

  • Workshops are expected to be a hands-on experience where the attendees are able to work on and/or make the project that is being showcased.
  • Workshops are allowed to charge attendees a materials fee. Kits containing the materials needed to build the workshop project may also be sold through a permitted vendor booth.
  • All workshops will be open to all attendees of the High Desert Steampunk Expo whether or not they have purchased the workshop kit, though in the event of a capacity audience preference will be given to those who have purchased workshop kit.
  • Workshops may not feature the following:
    • Open flames
    • Soldering
    • Spray painting
    • Hazardous materials
    • Power tools
  • Workshop kits must be prepared to the extent that none of the above will need to be used at the High Desert Steampunk Expo.
  • Workshop presenters are encouraged to submit a materials list that will be published on the High Desert Steampunk Expo webpage so that attendees may bring their own materials if they wish.

Symposium and Workshop Room Assignment:

Spaces are assigned based on several factors:
  • When the Symposium/Workshop was submitted (This is a big determining factor, so sign up early!)
  • Who is giving the Symposium/Workshop (Guest leaders are always given priority for prime time slots, for instance.)
  • Whether the Symposium/Workshop has been given before, and how much of an audience it previously drew
  • What Symposium/Workshop times the applicant specifically requested

When will I get a response? What can I expect?

Due to the high volume of submissions that we receive, we cannot guarantee swift responses to submissions.
  • If your Symposium/Workshop is approved, you will get an email that explicitly states that your Symposium/Workshop has been preliminarily approved for a time slot. If there is a problem with this time slot, notify as soon as possible. An alternate time slot may or may not be available. Any preliminarily assigned time slot is subject to change before the final schedule is published. Please check the final schedule and the schedule handed to you at Registration for your final times.
  • If your Symposium/Workshop is ‘rejected’ you will receive a communication to this effect, with an explanation of why as soon as the Symposium/Workshop Team has determined that your Symposium/Workshop is not eligible for our schedule. In some cases the applicant will be given the opportunity to revise the original submission. Since our time as volunteers is limited, and we receive more and more submissions each year, we cannot guarantee the option to revise a submission that is initially rejected.
  • Symposiums/Workshops which are not rejected but which we are unable to fit into the Symposium/Workshop schedule will receive an invitation to the waiting list. Waiting list invitations will be sent out within two weeks after the Schedule is finalized.
Once a Symposium/Workshop has been placed onto the schedule, and a time slot has been accepted, it is considered ‘confirmed’ and locked in. If a panelist makes a later request to change the time of the Symposium/Workshop, the ‘approved’ status will be revoked until an acceptable time slot can be found, if what is requested is available. If an acceptable time slot cannot be found, the Symposium/Workshop will be considered to be canceled by the leader.

At Expo Check-in - Very Important

Please check in with the Symposium/Workshop Monitor at the space for your Symposium/Workshop 20 minutes prior to your panel. If you have not checked in, Symposium/Workshop Staff will call or text you at your at-expo phone number approximately 15–20 minutes prior to your panel. Please respond immediately so that we know that you’re coming or, better yet, are already at your space. Remember that Symposiums and Workshops end 10 minutes before the hour to give each panelist time to set up and be ready when their Symposium/Workshop starts on the hour. If, at 10 minutes prior to your Symposium/Workshop start time, we have been unable to contact you and no one has checked-in, your Symposium/Workshop will be canceled. Once a cancellation has been communicated to the rest of the convention via social media, Info Desk, etc., the Symposium/Workshop cannot be un-canceled. Please show up on time! We don’t like cancelling Symposiums or Workshops! If you have Symposiums/Workshops scheduled one after the other, you may check in for both of them when you check in for the first of them.

During Your Symposium/Workshop

If you have any issues during your Symposium/Workshop, please speak to one of the Symposium/Workshop Staff located near the Symposium/Workshop space.

Have a question that was not addressed here? Please contact Symposiums and Workshops at .

Thursday, March 5, 2015

High Desert Steampunk Expo
April 18 & 19, 2015
To be Held at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center – Exhibit Hall
1350 N. Wells Avenue, Reno, NV 89512
Lodging Options

You can now buy your tickets to the High Desert Steampunk Expo! Just follow this link to our event tickets: and, please, share it with your friends! If you have additional pictures you think we should add to the ticket page, please let me know. We are relying on these ticket sales to pay for all the fantastic things we are adding to this event, so buy early and often. We've kept the ticket price as low as we can manage. A full weekend of fun for less than the price of a 2 hour movie!

We have received several questions about where to stay for this event.  We have not reserved a block of rooms anywhere, but I did some research for you.  Most of the options listed were chosen because of their proximity to the site and their affordability. Options one, two, three, and six are all less than a mile from the site, should you wish to just walk to the site from your lodging.  Option five is a block of rooms arranged be Ed Adkins as part of the Steampunk Tavern Stroll, which is Saturday night and you should totally plan on going on this stroll.  Even if you do not drink alcohol, there will be amusements galore along the way.  The starting point, 1864 on California Street, serves made to order juices of excellent quality in addition to the more standard, alcohol laden fare. Yum!  Wait, where was I?  Right, I was talking about rooms.  The following is a rundown of a few options.  This list is by no means all encompassing.  Reno has many, many hotel rooms in a wide range of prices. If you do not see something that meets your needs, please leave a comment, and we will see what we can do to help out.

All Reno area hotels are subject to a 13.5% room tax and a $2 per night city tax.

Option One: Days Inn on Wells Avenue, across the street from a Denny's, less than a mile from the site, which is also on Wells Ave. Rooms start at $49.99 per night. The website says they still have rooms.

Option Two (a): Motel 6 on Wells Ave. Internet rate is currently $39.99 per night. Call them on the phone and it is 45. It is marginally closer to the site, on the North side of the Freeway.

Option Two (b):  another Motel 6 on Keystone AvenueThis one is an exit down on the freeway at Keystone and I-80, in a slightly nicer neighborhood. The internet rate as of today is $49.99 per night:

Option Three: America's Best Travel Inn, also on Wells, behind Denny's. The price is similar to the above motels, but there is no on line booking.  

Option Four: Ramada Inn on 6th Street. You would still use the Wells Avenue exit, but this place is on 6th street. Rooms cost $80 a night, so slightly more expensive. Also, it is on top of a casino.

Option Five: Sands Regency Casino Hotel, 345 N. Arlington Avenue, Reno, NV 89501 775-348-2200 or 1-866-386-7829 Room rates are currently showing as $129 per night, but Ed Adkins of “Let’s Do Things” has arranged for a group rate of $55 for Friday night and $99 for Saturday night. In order to get the group rate, you must check in on Friday. Rooms are also subject to a $5.99 per day resort. The hotel also requires a $75 deposit on the room against possible damage.  The deposit can be either a hold on your credit card or cash. They give you back the cash after checking the room on the morning of checkout. The credit card hold can take up to ten days to release.  Ed is hosting the Steampunk Tavern Stroll, so stop by his table at the front of the Exhibit Hall and thank him for the rate while you’re buying a mug.  In order to get the rate, call the reservation desk and give them the code CRAWL415 to get the discounted rate.

Option Six: Stay on Site in your own RV. You can call the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center and reserve an RV space.  There is a free, on site pumping station.  There is a charge for using a space.  Call or email our on-site event coordinator and tell her that you are attending the High Desert Steampunk Expo: Alesia Pinson, Event Coordinator, Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, 775-688-5758 (phone) or email: Note: before booking the space, make sure you understand what access will be like outside the hours of the event.  The entire site is enclosed within a fence.  It is up to you to find out how to get in and out and to determine whether or not the access and site are acceptable to you.

With all these options, you are booking a room or space of your own choosing and High Desert Steam is in no way responsible for your choice.  We have no affiliation with these businesses and are only providing you with this information as a courtesy.  We do not extend any special endorsement to any of these places and do not accept any liability for anything that might happen to you or your property.  It is up to the individual consumer to decide where they are staying, and the individuals assume any and all risks associated with booking a room or space in these locations.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hello again Ladies and Laddies!  Part of our exciting new year as High Desert Steam is filing for Non-Profit Status.  This means big changes to our internal structure, and we want to invite everyone to be involved. 

In order to file for a Non-Profit, one must have a membership.  We took this as a challenge to do more amazing things with HDS.  Bigger Expos.  Amazing Ball headliners.  Special secret, ongoing surprises for our members!  Won’t you join us in our adventure?

Let me give you a quick outline of our Membership Levels, then you can decide for yourself which level works for you. 

Supporter Member (Donations):  Don’t want to get involved in the shenanigans, but you do want to donate to the cause?  Well this is the level for you.  Every penny counts. 
  • Name on our Website
  • Mention in Program
Associate Member - $25 per year: Like to know what is going on, but don’t want to get too involved in the politics?  This might just be your ticket… and speaking of tickets:
  • All Supporter Benefits
  • Subscription to Newsletter
  • Associate Level Early Bird Ticketing
Sustaining Member - $50 per year:  You are a super member!  Involved, educated, and you get all the perks!  So many perks we can’t even list them because we don’t even know what they all are yet!
  • All Associate Benefits Plus Sustaining Level Early Bird Ticketing
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Right to Vote in Officer Elections
  • Right to Serve as an Officer
  • Official HDS Badge
  • Free Entrance to the 2015 Expo
  • Special Super-Secret Perks at all HDS Events*
Family Membership – Up to $85 per year: Oh geez, all this money, and you have thirteen kids and a wife and they all want to join too?  We have you covered.  One additional adult and any minor minions living at the same address as a Sustaining Member can be added for just $15 for the Adult and $10 per wee one.  The Adult is extended privileges of a Sustaining Member and the kiddos, well they are kids.  They can’t vote anywhere, can they?  But you can bring them along to the Expo and buy Early Bird Ball tickets for them.  A maximum of $85 per household is due with a limit of two adult memberships.

*Note:  Special Super-Secret Perks may not all have monetary value, but they will have mustache twirling, secret knocking, special decoder ring style fun. 

Please hit the above tab to find the Membership Form.  Perks are already starting to play peekaboo with Beta Members.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ladies and Chaps, we are so excited to announce the dates and details of our 4th Annual High Desert Steampunk Expo: The Bizarre Bazaar!  The Expo will be held April 18 and 19 -- that's right, two days -- at the Reno Livestock Events Center Exhibit Hall.

You do not want to miss this bigger and better Expo.  Special Features will include:

  • The Aether Brigade, both in onstage shows and in offstage shenanigans 
  • Barbara Smith out of Houston, TX, with 20 + years of Contra Calling experience teaching workshops both days
  • The Infamous Steampunk Undress featuring Mary Crawley and David Jackson
  • A brief Saturday Night Contra Dance to practice your new skills
  • Art Cars
  • Steampunk Laser Tag
  • An Art Gallery
  • After hours Tavern Stroll hosted by Lat's Do Things
  • Victorian Parlor Games and Steampunk Board Games
  • Vendors
  • Classes, Workshops and Panels
  • Daily Fashion Shows
  • Music
  • and so much more!
Stay tuned to find out how to volunteer, become our featured t-shirt artist, vend at this spectacular event, and become an official member of HDS to gain FREE admission and get EARLY BIRD ball tickets.  
You can now buy your tickets to the High Desert Steampunk Expo! 
Just follow this link to our event tickets: and, please, share it with your friends! If you have additional pictures you think we should add to the ticket page, please let me know. We are relying on these ticket sales to pay for all the fantastic things we are adding to this event, so buy early and often. We've kept the ticket price as low as we can manage. A full weekend of fun for less than the price of a 2 hour movie!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Honest Abe's Imagination Celebration November 1st 2014

The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno is hosting their annual Gala event on November 1st and this year our dreams are coming true because it is steampunk themed!  Under the moniker Honest Abe’s Imagination Celebration (click here for event page), one of the renowned Edwardian Ball's visionary directors has been contracted to transport us all into a realm of pure, steamy, imagination.  We invite you all to join High Desert Steam there for what will be an unforgettable event which will prove even more elaborate than last year’s wondrously high-budget Moulin Rouge themed museum Gala.

“~ A Steampunk Celebration of Nevada’s 150th ~ Yes, citizens, we’re going to party like its 1864! Part steampunk ball, part carnival, this celebration of our state’s visionary spirit will be a grand reimagining of the future through the wondrous lens of the past. We’ll view the original Emancipation Proclamation as El Radio Fantastique rouses imaginations with a uniquely antique menagerie of sights, sounds and musical styles. Dress in costume of appropriate flair: think Civil War meets Jules Verne meets the wild subconscious of a boyhood Lincoln. Includes complimentary desserts and savory treats.”