Steampunk bash proves ‘festival of bizarre proportions’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A member of the Pyromancy Fire Performance Troupein Buffalo performs with fire before a big crowd on saturday night at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.

Leonard Oakes held its annual Steampunk Festival and more than 1,200 people turned out, many in futuristic costumes with a Victorian theme.

The festival featured fire artists, belly dancers, a Frank Sinatra crooner, bands, hoop dancers, and a self-described “circus freak performer” who chewed glass and snapped a mouse trap on his tongue.

The event was a celebration of the release of the winery’s new steampunk hard cider.

Some of the costumed revelers chat at the winery on Route 104.

Maria Rola, a hoop dancer from Buffalo, is pictured with Arlowe Price, a self-described fourth-generation “circus freak performer” from Buffalo.

Price chewed broken glass, set a mouse trap on his tongue, and performed other outrageous stunts during the Steampunk Festival. He let people staple dollars on his skin and throw darts at his back.

Price was a little bloodied from some of his stunts. Here he set a mouse trap on his tongue.

Price has been a regular performer at the festival and has watched it grow from a few hundred people to more than 1,000.

“I brag about this event all summer,” Price said. “It’s a wildy growing festival. People enjoy the music and the Steampunk Cider.”

Many locals attended the event in futuristic costumes, including Albion residents Leanne Serrato, left, and Peggy Barringer.

This group includes Tammy Menz, left, her sister Lynne Menz and Terri Wood.

The band, Monkey Wrench Revolt from Cortland, performed on an outdoor stage at Leonard Oakes. The band includes, from left: Nate Francisco on mandolin, Ted Andrejko on bass, and Tom George on guitar.

Abel Zavitz, 16, of Medina sang two songs for the big crowd including “Come fly with me” by Frank Sinatra and “Everybody loves somebody” by Dean Martin.

A hoop dancer has a glowing hoop at the festival.

Members of Troupe Nisaa, a dance group based in Batavia, perform at the Steampunk Festival.

The fire artists from Pyromancy proved popular with the crowd.

Leonard Oakes promotes the event as “A Festival of Bizarre Proportions.”