Costume, community define steampunk

Ready for the Oamaru Steampunk Festival yesterday are (from left) James Bryan, Simone Montgomery,...
Ready for the Oamaru Steampunk Festival yesterday are (from left) James Bryan, Simone Montgomery, Helen Bryan, Ross McKay and Peter Fleury. PHOTO: WYATT RYDER
The love of costume and old trinkets is second to the shared passionate community which Steampunk offers.

That is what those dressed in their finest science fiction/historically inspired costumes said before Oamaru’s annual Steampunk Festival last night, which took place in the town’s Victorian precinct.

The grand opening did not start until 6pm, but participants could be seen walking the streets in their fantastical dress from the early morning.

The Otago Daily Times caught up with a group of steampunks from Dunedin who had travelled for the occasion.

Ross McKay, carrying a cane and dressed in a top hat, said "quite often you’ll find somebody who is a steampunk without realising they’re a steampunk".

The passion for collecting and reusing old trinkets was usually a good indicator, he said.

It was common for new people to jump headfirst into the community after discovering it.

Mr McKay said he had always loved science fiction and history, which steampunk blended together perfectly.

"The best part is the friends and the people I’ve met."

Peter Fleury, also in a top hat, said the hobby was an escape from life and a way to express himself artistically.

The group had made skirts out of curtains, ray guns from copper fittings and flowers out of clocks.

They often collected little pieces of discarded material just out of interest.

The festival runs until Monday.

The Steampunk Market opens at 10am today at the Oamaru Squash and Badminton Club followed by the parade in Thames St at 11am.