Steampunk Festival cancelled for this year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 June 2020 at 3:12 pm

File photos by Tom Rivers: Members of the Buffalo-based Pyromancy blow fire during one of the stunts performed by the group on Aug. 31 during the Steampunk Festival, which was held at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds for the first time.

KNOWLESVILLE – The Steampunk Festival has been cancelled for this year, the Leonard Oakes Estate Winery announced today.

The winery has put on “the festival of bizarre proportions” since 2011. Steampunk is an end-of-summer party that became so popular it was moved from the winery on Route 104 in Medina to the 4-H fairgrounds.

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

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery could accommodate 1,000 to 1,200 people annually at recent Steampunk Festivals at the winery. It was maxed out and decided to move the event to the fairgrounds last year.

The winery said on its Facebook page it is planning some smaller event instead this year instead of the large celebration that drew people from 10-15 states and Canada.

Last year’s event included three bands, hot-air balloon rides, five food vendors, a steampunk clothing contest, fire artists, circus freaks, belly dancers, a mad science fair and Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber.

Most of the attendees at Steampunk wear futuristic costumes with a Victorian theme. They wear outlandish costumes, with top hats, goggles and robotic arms as accessories.

The event draws people from 10-15 states and Canada. Moving the event to the Fairgrounds provides an option to camp with tents or RVs.

There are many outrageous costumes at the Steampunk Festival, including the 14-foot-long wings worn by Jane Farrell of Nunda. The wings are 10 feet high. Farrell on Aug. 31 last year was 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.

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