Cogs & Clockwork Steampunk Festival: A Retro Futuristic Extravaganza in Downtown Fergus
On Saturday, September 9, 2023, the historic downtown Fergus on St. Andrew Street was transformed into a retro futuristic Victorian era setting for the Cogs & Clockwork Steampunk Festival. This event promised to be a delightful blend of history, science fiction, and creativity.
What was Steampunk?
Steampunk was a subgenre of science fiction that combined retro futuristic technology and aesthetics inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Often set in an alternative history of the Victorian era or the American “Wild West”, it envisioned a world where steam power remained dominant.
Highlights of the Festival:
- Fashion Show: Attendees had the chance to showcase their unique steampunk attire.
- Circus Performers: Breathtaking performances were given by the Play Dance and Circus Centre.
- Teapot Races: A fun-filled event where decorated teapot cars navigated an obstacle course via remote control took place.
- Scavenger Hunt: Participants found hidden steampunk items in participating stores and vendor booths, snapped selfies, and stood a chance to win exciting prizes.
- Artist Demonstrations: From blacksmithing by Ryan Leis to various other crafts, the Provost Pavilion buzzed with activity.
- Steampunk Festival Menu: Local restaurants offered a special steampunk-inspired menu for the guests.
- Guest Speakers: Renowned Steampunk Canadian author Jessica Frey and photographer Andrew Miller shared insights into their work.
- Tea Party & Poetry Reading: Attendees enjoyed complimentary tea in Templin Gardens and listened to that year’s poetry contest entries.
- Steamboat Race: Participants decorated their toy boats and participated in an exciting race.
- Thief Hunt: Attendees helped solve a robbery mystery in Fergus and won prizes.
- Beat the Chess Master: Challengers took on International Chess Master Mark Plotkin in a game of chess.
- Domestic Bliss Puppet Show: Puppets Elora presented a steampunk puppet show for both children and adults.
With over 50 vendors in attendance, the festival promised a plethora of steampunk-themed items and experiences. It was a family-friendly event aimed at introducing and sharing the creativity of the steampunk community.
Transportation: To assist with parking, shuttle buses were available from the corner of Beaty Line and St. Andrew St., heading to the AO Smith Parking lot and then to downtown, running frequently until 5 pm.
The festival expressed gratitude to its sponsors, including The Fergus BIA, HR Machining, Wolfe Smith & Forster LLP, The Bookery, Sideroad Creations, Brighten Up Games, and The Optimists Club of Centre Wellington.