Festival ‘a little bit mad, but fun’

Sir Gideon Steamcrank dear Lord of the twisting spires Carl Yates (right) shows his magic box to...
Sir Gideon Steamcrank dear Lord of the twisting spires Carl Yates (right) shows his magic box to other Steampunk enthusiasts (from left) Glenys Steele, of Tapanui, Debbie Kennard, of Pukemaori, Vyonne Yates, of Christchurch, Susan and Alan Bryan, of Dunedin, Lea Campbell, of Oamaru, and Martin Seaward, of Christchurch. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Science, fiction and the fantastic came together like clockwork in Oamaru at the weekend.

Steampunk enthusiasts from as far as Dannevirke, Sydney and the United States travelled back in time to a Victorian retro-futurist Oamaru to take part in the annual Steampunk NZ Festival.

This year’s theme was "botanical mechanical".

Organiser Lea Campbell said that included exploring plant mechanisms, how they moved and their botany.

Miss Campbell had attended the festival since 2018 and said she was impressed by the creativity and high standard of costuming that was both colourful and spectacular this year.

"It’s possibly a little bit mad, but fun."

The festival had grown to begin on the Thursday before the weekend because of the demand for activities leading up to the weekend, she said.

Visitors dressed up and took part in fashion shows and dinners, but the festival also attracted day-trippers who were entertained by the costumed festival-goers.

Miss Campbell said the Steampunk parade reinforced that interaction between the costumed crowd and the onlookers.

This year, the festival introduced a trinket swap.

People came with trinkets they had made at home and told each other the stories behind them before swapping them.

"People came with the front of their coats covered in trinkets and fabulous bits of creativity.

"The variety of things people had made was incredible", Miss Campbell said.