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An electrifying showdown in Central Texas

Written by , published November 7, 2012

It's pretty rare that I'm drawn to an event on the strength of a poster alone, but then I saw this:

Lightning! A famous scientific rivalry! …Fictitious metal?

My curiosity was piqued, so I checked out the website. At the center of the event is a “fictional smack down”/stage show portraying Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, who personify the competing electrical technologies that emerged in the late 1800s. Add costumed entertainers, music, vendors, mad-science labs and a generous helping of "steampunk" style (imagine combining Victorian Era technology with a Renaissance festival), and the ghost town of Unobtainium, Texas, crackles to life. The website predicts:  “Sparks will fly. Ray guns will be drawn. History will be re-made!” Even if it doesn’t sound like your kind of scene, you have to admire the earnest creativity behind the concept.

The imaginary town of Unobtainium can be found at Ball Farm in Dale, Texas, about 30 minutes southeast of Austin. Tesla and Edison are set to take shots at each other throughout the day before the actual showdown at 10 p.m. Saturday and again at 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit

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