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More than 1,000 attend Steampunk Fest at Fairgrounds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 September 2019 at 7:13 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – There were many outrageous costumes at the Steampunk Festival on Saturday at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds, including the 14-foot-long wings worn by Jane Farrell of Nunda. The wings are 10 feet high.

Farrell is joined by from left: her aunt Tama Webster, her mother Connie Farrell, friend Riley Randall and Kristie Webster, wearing the fairy wings. Farrell runs a business, Jane Does Costumes, and specializes in steampunk, which is often a mix of Victorian meets the future.

The festival is run by Leonard Oakes Estate Winery. The winery hosted it at its Ridge Road location in Medina from 2011 to 2018 but shifted to the more spacious fairgrounds this year.

John Jaeger of Mount Morris created this robot steampunk costume. His wife Jean is behind him and she created an outlandish costume with a broom. Many of the steampunk costumes have goggles and gears.

Felix Eddy, left, of Binghamton and Victoria Bouffard were selling artwork and embroidery with the steampunk theme.

Eddy has been making steampunk creations the past 10 years.

“You don’t have to follow the rules,” she said. “You can have fun with it and create your own character. Everything goes in steampunk. It’s fantasy and action adventure. In time travel, everything goes.”

“Getaway Gertie,” a burlesque dancer from Rochester, checks some of the hats available at one of the vendors. She performs with the Salt City Burlesque in Syracuse.

Phil Wackerfuss of Pyromancy breathes fire during the Saturday night show.

Another Pyromancy performer extinguishes a flame with her mouth.

Laura Strickland, in back, of Lockport has written six novels of steampunk romance.

The Rev. Arlowe Price of the Buffalo Savage Carnival was a star performer again this year. He laid on a bed of nails and had a concrete block smashed on his stomach.

J.T. Murphy of Rochester signs copies of his steampunk-themed book.

Levi Van Cleve plays the guitar and sings for Pine Fever during its concert on Saturday.

Alex Cline (left) sings and plays the trumpet, Patrick “Thor” Johnson plays the upright bass and Brian Mckenna is on drums for Pine Fever. The band describes its music as “a red-hot ramshackle of old-time Dixieland western swing.”

The local band, The Capitals, led off the music on a stage erected for the festival.

Hatchets and Hops brought its axe wagon from Buffalo for people to throw axes.

Werner Leistner of North Tonawanda exhibited some of his own inventions, including what he calls a Flux Capacitor at right. Leistner said he enjoys the steampunk culture.

“You can freelance anything,” he said. “You’re not tied to anything. You can invent the culture of the past using the means of today.”

Robyn from Buffalo Tribal Belly Dance performs for the crowd behind the Trolley Building at the Fairgrounds.

A member of Buffalo Aerial Dance performs during the Steampunk Festival.

Deja Vu Ballooning in Gasport brought one of their balloons, Amelia AirHeart, for the festival. The balloon was tethered and went up about 100 feet.

Orleans Hub editor Tom Rivers took a ride in the balloon. This is looking up at the burner which fires liquid propane into the balloon.

Luna Walter and Eve Brewer, both of Rochester, were happy to ride in the basket of the balloon.

Members of the band Rasputina took a ride in the balloon. The band includes Thistle Jemison, Melora Creager and Ryder Cooley. They closed out the festival later in the night.

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