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Victorian meets the future at Steampunk Fest

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Top hats, goggles and robotic arms among the accessories

Photos by Tom Rivers – Several hundred people attended the Steampunk Festival Saturday in Medina at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery. Many of the attendees wore Steampunk outfits, including this group, from left: Angela Loveland of Niagara Falls, and siblings Adam Cordell and Katie Cordell of Mercersburg, Pa.

Walter Quinn, a chef by trade, created a futuristic costume for Saturday’s Steampunk Festival.

MEDINA – The future met the Victorian past, a clash of cultures that mixes long, lacy dresses with robotic arm extensions.

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery hosted its third annual Steampunk Festival over the weekend, and hundreds of people attended the celebration of Victorian culture in a post-apocalyptic world.

“The nice thing about the Steampunk Festival is it takes a little imagination,” said Walter Quinn, one of about 150 participants in costume on Saturday.

Quinn, 55, of Kenmore used a shower head as a arm extension for his costume. He attached the hose from the shower around his boot. He had a flashlight protruding from his googles. At the end of the flashlight, he put in a ping pong ball that looked like an eyeball.

Quinn, a chef by trade, attended with his wife Bonnie in Victorian costume and their friends.

Gerry Szymanski of Rochester pulled out a top hat and pince nez glasses for the Steampunk Fest.

Gerry Szymanski of Rochester wore a top hat from the 1870s and a pair of pince nez glasses from the 1890s, similar to the style wore by Teddy Roosevelt, for the Steampunk Fest.

“Steampunk is a mix of the 19th Century and the fantastic,” Szymanski said.

Leonard Oakes hosts the festival and promotes it with the winery’s hard cider. The business branded its alcoholic apple brew as “Steampunk Cider.” That brand taps a steampunk movement that has been growing in the past 10 years with some people embracing a world and culture that was powered by steam engines, which provided the power before the Industrial Revolution.

“It’s classy, cool and stylish,” said Adam Cordell, who drove to the Steampunk Fest from Mercersburg, Pa.

This group of friends from near Buffalo was among the crowd at Saturday’s Steampunk Festival at the Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Medina. The group includes, from left: Dan Lelito of Orchard Park, Alyssa Barrett of Cheektowaga, and Bonnie and Walter Quinn of Kenmore.