A new steampunk festival is gearing up for its debut in September.
The Cogs & Clockwork Steampunk Festival is set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Fergus. Organizer, Tony DeLuca, who has ties to Coldwater, says the one-day event will be vastly different from the Coldwater Steampunk Festival which took place for the final time last summer after an impressive 11 year-run.
“Coldwater was a music festival and steampunk festival,” he explained. “We are looking at making ours a cross-platform event.”
The Fergus event will include a poetry contest, artist demos, fashion shows, riverboat races, and some of the events will be live-streamed online.
“We want people who aren’t able to come to feel like they are able to participate,’ he said. “It will make them think maybe they should come next year.”
DeLuca, a goldsmith by trade, has been involved with craft shows for 32 years. He says the goal of the festival is to promote different art forms.
“We are bringing in circus performers, we have a puppet show, and all of our downtown will be totally decorated,” he said.
Like the Coldwater festival, DeLuca wants the whole town to feel a part of the event.
“We are making craft foam decorations for all the vendor tents,” he said. “We want the whole thing to feel unified.”
DeLuca hopes to have 40 vendors at the festival in its first year. He says festival organizers are choosing to have quality vendors over quantity.
“I’d rather have 40 good vendors than 80 vendors where there are only 40 good ones,” he said. “It really makes or breaks the atmosphere of the show.”
The Pride In Parts play happening throughout the weekend is about artificial intelligence, which is the theme of the event. There will also be a guest speaker and a poetry contest during the event that will delve further into the theme.
“I think it’s very pertinent this year,” DeLuca said. “Some people need to wake up and know that this AI thing is going to be a game changer for the world.”
While the Fergus steampunk event is different than the ones that came before it, DeLuca hopes it can pick up the torch from where the popular Coldwater event left off.
“I want to start off with a bang,” he said. “We want to show the steampunk community that we are stepping up and if we have a great first year, it will be much easier to have a great second year.”
The event will run mostly downtown from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can find more information and a list of events here.