There’s so much to do!

Cogs & Corsets Steampunk Happening brings you all the fun and frivolity you expect from a Steampunk event, surrounded by the historic architecture of Downtown Bloomington, Illinois. Our event has activities and fun for all ages, and most of it is FREE!

Now in our fourth year, Cogs & Corsets just keeps getting better.  This is a night you don’t want to miss!

Check out the 2021 schedule of events here.

Our presentations and workshops are listed here.

Peruse our list of fabulous vendors here.

… and check out the many contests and competitions below!


Courtesy of Michelle Deck

Lady Lyric d’Avalon, the Time-Traveling Trouvère

Lady Lyric d’Avalon, the Time-Traveling Trouvère, is Michelle Deck’s Steampunk Muse whose journal inspires Michelle’s songwriting on her latest ChamberSteamPop project, “Unplayed: The Chronicles of Lady Lyric.” Lady Lyric will be sharing these epic songs and captivating stories — like her friend Marie Antoinette’s scandalous lavender escapades! Explore more about Lady Lyric and her time-traveling Quest to explore the symbiotic nature of music at

Michelle’s original songs have been featured on nationwide podcasts and internet radio (not to mention hundreds of diverse live performances and her extensive discography), and she’s twice been recognized as one of the region’s up-and-coming original artists at the Southwest Missouri New Music Showcase. Her original song “Unplayed” (title cut of her “Unplayed” ChamberSteamPop EP) will be featured in independent film “Pray They Stand Down” (about Veterans, PTSD, and service dogs), slated for nationwide release in 2021/2022.


Photo by David Huber

The Costume Accessories Contest

Dust off your accessories and join in the Costume Accessories Contest.

You won’t need to be in full regalia to enter this year!  This year our contest for accessories only. The categories will be for Best Hat, Best Goggles, Best Mask, and Best Overall Accessory.

Read through the Costume Contest rules for the categories for 2021.

Advance online registration is now available.

Photo by David Huber

Splendid Teapot Racing

Splendid Teapot Racing is the ultimate in remote-control racing. You’ve got RC’s, you’ve got tea, and you’ve got the chasm of doom to leap over. Best of all, you’ve got crowd cheering you on. What more could you ask for?

Check out the official rules and grab your RC to start practicing. Advance online registration coming soon.

Steampunk Maker Faire

Photo by David Huber

Steampunk Maker Faire

Embrace your inner mad scientist! Grab some widgets and doodads and create something the world has never seen before!

Advance online registration is now available.

Family Fun

Photo by David Huber

Nerf Gun Dueling

Join us on the north-west lawn of the Museum of History to try your hand a Nerf Gun Dueling!

Chicagoland Steampunk Society officiates your Nerf Dueling competition. Dueling’s dark history in the 10th century is all too real, but our done in good, safe fun. A signed waiver will be required to participate (available on site).

Photo by David Huber

Dirigible Races

A Cogs & Corsets original! Challenge a friend to see who can move their dirigible the fastest along the airways. Those who wield their bellows the fastest will prevail!


Free STEAM Activities

The McLean County Museum of History and Little Art School will be showcasing free, family friendly STEAM activities including make your own Steampunk Frame, and more!

Online Webinars

The Skinny on the Scanties: A History of Women’s Underwear

Join Susan Hartzold, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the McLean County Museum of History, for a fascinating, illustrated program about what gets put on underneath women’s clothes on Saturday, June 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Ever wondered about the history, purpose, and meaning of women’s undergarments. Well here’s your chance to get a revealing peak at what’s been worn beneath our outer garments through the centuries and the not so hidden meanings they sometimes communicated.

This free webinar is part of the featured events of the annual Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening. To register for this program, please go to

Urban Transit- Moving in the City

As countries urbanized and industrialized, a dilemma arose—how to move about efficiently. Transit systems were the solution, evolving from horse drawn omnibuses to cable railroads, elevated trains and the ubiquitous clanging trolley car. And throughout this evolution far-fetched schemes developed, political machinations followed, and early transit equipment highlighted craft work, with inlaid wood, elaborate paint schemes and glass ornamentation.  Join us on Saturday, June 5 at 1:00 p.m. for this free, webinar presented by labor historian, Mike Matejka.

Matejka serves on the McLean County Museum of History’s board and is vice-president of the Illinois Labor History Society, along with many other community positions. His father was a St. Louis transit worker, beginning in 1947 as a trolley motorman, and a 50-year member of the Amalgamated Association of Street & Electric Railway Men & Motor Coach Employees of the United States & Canada Division 788.

This free webinar is part of the featured events of the annual Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening. To register for this program, please go to