Greetings and Salutations:
Hope the New Year was well met as I myself waited to greet her until the next morning, Might as well sit back and grab yourself a cuppa and Ill toss another log in the firepit. I will say that while I did experience several setbacks in 2023 the positives still outweigh the negatives and even those have proven to be beneficial.
Last year started with a run around by the City I was going to hold the Stampede in along with a maybe we can maybe we can't by the venue where the Stampede was to be held. All this resulted in cancelling of the 2023 Stampede as the city did not care to back it and the venue went with can't. Now granted I might have been able to rush around and find something new, but it would not have been up to my standards as my mind was now looking for something way better. To be honest at this point the Taj Mahal could have paid me to use their facilities and it would not have met my standards.
My next step took me to Atoka, Oklahoma which this downtown area had the ambiance and sex appeal needed to pull off a great festival. Atoka was definitely open to the idea and ready to get on board with a few exceptions. I could move out to the Fairgrounds. or a block off of Mainstreet in a confined area which did not allow for a very good flow of traffic. Through no fault of their own shutting down Mainstreet was not a possibility as it was a designated state highway. Lesson learned as now my first question to any new location was if they had the ability to close off Mainstreet.
If you are wondering why the need to close off the street became such an issue it's somewhat easy to explain. G-Con the predecessor of Steampunk Stampede was a ticketed event much like a Con and held inside. Not an entirely bad thing but difficult on vendors as attendees after paying for admission were not so willing to part ways with their money in order to purchase from my vendors. Secondly Ambiance you can put lipstick on a pig but you gonna be hard put to kiss it. In my opinion Steampunk demands a proper atmosphere that helps set the tone of event. As a result, I decided that one I needed to host a festival that was free to the public as my vendors need to make money as much as everyone else, was now looking for an area suitable to hold an event that would allow for controlled traffic flow and have just a bit of background ambiance.
Hello McAlester, Oklahoma not only one historic district but two and if I really wanted a con styled event, they have an amazing expo center. Did I mention they are located on The Jefferson Highway which is as significant as Route 66 just a bit lesser known for the time being but that is changing. Add to that when asked about shutting down a couple of blocks I was offered more space than I needed. Bonus McAlester is coming on board as a sponsor and assisting in making Steampunk Stamped a success. What can i say but lets move forward and think about how great 2024 is starting out. Onward to McAlester.