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Steampunk Storms Downtown Bloomington

People dressed in bustles and goggles, carrying jetpacks made with what appear to be ceiling fan blades. Yes, it's Steampunk.

From the Industrial Revolution to the Wild West, Steampunk is a creative way to picture what history could’ve been. It’s a re-imagining of history with art, science, and modern technology.

The Cogs and Corsets festival June 7-9 makes this fantasy a reality. The historic blocks of Downtown Bloomington will be filled with artists, attractions, and workshops that perfectly blend science fiction with the arts.

According to Ann Marie Dittman of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA) and co founder Melanie Shellito, the festival is a way to celebrate invention with a sense of fun and engage in hobbies that bring people together.

“It's the kind of event that you can come at it from whatever angle floats your boat. We've got folks for whom the history side is a big deal. Others it's the costuming or it's the engineering, the tinkering side, or the music, or the cosplay, the fantasy. It is all of those things. It is no one thing,” said Shellito on GLT’s Sound Ideas.

Aside from costumes and cosplay, there will be contests and live performances. So you won’t want to miss the festival kickoff, which will have the Austin-based band/engineers, ArcAttack using one of Tesla’s earliest inventions—the Tesla Coil— to shoot bolts of lighting through the night sky.

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Amina Jinadu is a social media and online writing intern at WGLT and a student at Illinois State University's School of Communication. She began working at WGLT in summer 2019.