During a recent return trip from Dunedin, we stopped at Oamaru with the hope of photographing some of the beautiful older architecture that can found in the preserved end of the township. Residing in Christchurch has meant that the opportunity to photograph some of our older historic buildings has gone with the advent of the earthquakes experienced a couple of years ago now. They have been reduced to a pile of rubble or have disappeared forever.
Our plans, however, were "Steam Punked". This historic end of town was cordoned off to people and traffic of a casual nature as the Steam Punk Festival was being held. What an opportunity to stumble across!
The couple depicted to the left here, with the gentleman in his kilt, was the evidence of the sights we were in for.
For those who have never come across the term STEAMPUNK, Wikipedia defines it as:
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.
Although we had heard of this with regards to fashion, we had never experienced nor seen anything like this before. The locals, and us, were having a ball - most attendees had gone to a lot of trouble dressing up. Some examples are depicted here.
One of the highlights, costume-wise, was this lady dressed in the deep red and her friend in the ash-pink bustled dress. They did have a couple of rivals - these ladies dressed in the tartan outfits.
I'm not sure if they were resident or visiting, but there were also a wide variety of artists showing and selling their products. Sculptors, painters, carvers, woodworkers, and sewers were present. Some selling items in line with the whole steam punk time and theme, others not, but were just as talented. A couple that intrigued us included the busts shown here.
It wasn't just the women who dressed up, the blokes did too and what a dashing sight they made. There were "Biggles"-type pilots, generals, those who look liked they had just come from a safari hunt and even a mountaineer carrying an old fashioned camera (the type that required hiding under the black sheeting at the back and captured images on glass plates). No-one spared the trouble they went to to play the part.
Some other examples of the lengths that the locals went to:
Morris dancers, girls dressed in period dresses with mop-caps on, the queen was present and in attendance with her helpers, the mayor was all decked out in his finest, even our wizard was there.
While we spent hours taking in all the sights, colours and spectacles we had to return to our vehicle to drive home - we will definitely be entering this date into our diaries for next year. We don't want to miss the next steam punk event and want to be able to stay for a longer period of time!
If you ever get the opportunity to visit Oamaru during this festival we thoroughly recommend that you pay the small entrance fee for a day's worth of extraordinary entertainment!