Cogs and Corsets Schedule

**Please note that the schedule is subject to change**

Friday, June 7, 2019

4pm–7pm
Registration/Welcome/Information Booth

Get your event program/map, pick up and purchase tickets for premium events.

4pm–midnight
Open Gaming

Join fellow gamers at Red Raccoon Games for open play of your favorites.

5pm–8pm
First Friday Activities

Sponsor: Downtown Bloomington Association

See and be seen strolling the downtown shops and galleries. Many visiting and local artists, in-store specials and Steampunk-themed fun!

Steampunk Market (Vendor area) open

300 block of Main St. — Stroll our vendor area and shop for all manner of wonderful Steampunk accessories, handcrafts, tea, and so much more! Merchants and artists from all over the midwest will be showcasing their wares, helping you complete your perfect Steampunk ensemble.

5pm–9:30pm
Food Trucks / Pop-up restaurants

On the BCPA lawn — By popular request! In addition to our many downtown restaurants, we’ve coordinated with food trucks and other local food purveyors to bring you more options for sustenance as you enjoy the festivities.

5:30–7:30pm
Tea Dueling

Sponsor: McLean County Museum of History

Our Tiffin Master will preside over official Tea Dueling, allowing visitors to settle their spats like civilized folk: by dunking their biscuits in a hot cup of tea, and seeing who can be the last to complete a successful ‘nom’. Fun for all ages, and for participants and spectators alike.

Nerf Dueling

Sponsor: McLean County Museum of History

We welcome our friends from the Chicagoland Steampunk Society, who will be officiating Nerf Dueling on the Museum Square! If your damaged pride can’t be assuaged with simple tea dueling, might we suggest something with… projectiles? Dueling’s dark history in the 19th century is all too real, but ours is done in good, safe fun. Peruse the rules here, and prepare your final dramatics in case your opponent beats you to the draw.

6:00pm
Downtown Promenade

We’ll start the evening’s festivities with a promenade through the downtown in our steampunk finery! Get the overview of the downtown shops, galleries and restaurants while you show off your best ensemble to the public. The promenade will begin and end at the Registration Booth on the Museum Square; anyone dressed in steampunk clothing is welcome to join!

7–8:30pm
Steampunk Contra Dancing (Part 1)

Ticketed event. Come dance the night away with the Chicago band Ceilidh Bandicoots! Featuring callers Jonathan Sivier, Jon Hanson, and Scott Meyer.

Contra dancing was popular in the 19th century and it’s had a big revival this past decade. You don’t need a partner and you don’t need fancy lessons. Any level of dance skill can join in just listen to the caller and have a ball. A costume is not required, but it makes it more fun!

Light refreshments will be served. Cash bar. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Note: Event will break to allow dancers to attend the Arc Attack Demo and will resume afterwards. Ticket price provides admission to both dance sessions.

8:45–9:15pm
Arc Attack! FREE Tesla Coil Demonstration

Our now-famous Tesla Coil kickoff event has hit the Big League. Come witness the nationally-recognized performance artists, Arc Attack, who will light up the night sky with their Tesla Coil demonstration. You’ve seen them on Through the Wormhole, and America’s Got Talent. You will not want to miss seeing them in person. This kickoff demonstration is free to all!

To ensure the best viewing, for 2019 this event has been relocated to the BCPA lawn.* 

*Weather-dependent, for obvious reasons!

9:30–11pm
Steampunk Contra Dancing (Part 2)

Ticketed event. Come dance the night away with the Chicago band Ceilidh Bandicoots! Featuring callers Jonathan Sivier, Jon Hanson and Scott Meyer.

Contra dancing was popular in the 19th Century and it’s had a big revival this past decade. You don’t need a partner and you don’t need fancy lessons. Any level of dance skill can join in just listen to the caller and have a ball. A costume is not required but it makes it more fun!

Light refreshments will be served. Cash bar. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Note: Ticket price provides admission to both dance sessions.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

7am–noon
Farmers’ Market

While not an ‘official’ activity of Cogs & Corsets, we’d be remiss if we didn’t let you know that the Museum Square will be filled with our nationally-recognized Farmers’ Market! Local food, music, and art kicks off your Saturday morning.

8am–3pm
Registration/Welcome/Information Booth

Get your event program/map, pick up and purchase tickets for premium events.

9am–4pm
Free Photo Booth Open

The beautiful McLean County Museum of History offers photo ops both inside and out: Immortalize your best costumes with selfies in our old-world ‘photo booth’ or take advantage of the Museum’s innate turn-of-the-century architectural backdrops.

9am–6pm
Steampunk Market (Vendor area) open

Extended hours for 2019! Stroll our vendor area and shop for all manner of wonderful Steampunk accessories, handcrafts, tea, and so much more! Merchants and artists from all over the Midwest will be showcasing their wares, helping you complete your perfect Steampunk ensemble.

9:30am–3:30pm
Tea Room Open

Sponsor: Beezer Family Honey

Arguably THE place to see and be seen! Relax in style in Lady Erika Jarden’s tea room, located in the restored 1903 courtroom on the second floor of the McLean County Museum of History. Enjoy selections of fortifying tea, biscuits, and your delightful hostess, famed Lady Erika herself. Purchase your Tea Room pass ($5 per person) online, on-site at the registration booth, or inside the Museum of History for open access to three fortifying rounds of tea and biscuits during the festival.

9:30–11:30am
Maker’s Faire Entries Accepted

Whether designed for altruistic purposes or nefarious, your steampunk invention, accessory, or gadget belongs in our Makers’ Faire competition! Entry forms available here for download and also at the Registration booth. Our illustrious judges will determine the winners in each category and bestow the awards. Winners announced at noon at Inside Out Accessible Art.

9:30am
Promenade on the Square

Join in a stroll around the Museum square to celebrate the opening of the festival! Open to all costumed attendees. Gather at the Registration booth for a stylish stroll thru the market, and show everyone there’s been a steampunk invasion!

10am–4pm
Workshops (every hour on the hour)

Your program guide will have final descriptions, times and locations. Last workshops will begin at 3pm.

10am–noon
Kids’ S.T.E.A.M. Activities

East lawn of the Museum Square — The McLean County Museum of History and the Children’s Discovery Museum will be showcasing free, family-friendly, steam-powered and S.T.E.A.M activities for enthusiasts of all ages.

11:00am
Mustache Contest Pre-judging

Whether villainous or handlebar, fluffy or sleek, if you think you have a mustache of magnificence, come see how it measures up to stiff competition! Free to enter, win prizes and bragging rights! Awards at 11:30.

11:30am–1pm
‘Outrageous Etiquette’ luncheon

Premium ticketed event. Central Illinois’ renowned Tea Ladies share rules of Victorian etiquette you just won’t believe. See the complicated use of calling cards demonstrated, along with other interesting dining rules. Enjoy a lovely catered lunch while you laugh and learn some of the more outrageous rules of the 1890s.

Noon
Makers’ Faire Winner Announcements

See whose gadgets were judged the winners for this year’s competition! All entries on display and awards presentation at Inside Out Accessible Art

12:30pm
Costume Contest Pre-judging

Enter your finest costume and walk the runway! Emceed event with awards. Entry form is available here for download, and also at the Registration booth.

1:30pm
Costume Contest Runway Show

Come admire the creative and entertaining outfits that make Steampunk such a spectacle! Cheer on your friends and favorites as they walk the runway competing for coveted awards, and perhaps even get some great ideas for your next ensemble!

1:30–3:30pm
Kids’ S.T.E.A.M. Activities

500 block of Main St. — The McLean County Museum of History and the Children’s Discovery Museum will be showcasing free, family-friendly, steam-powered and S.T.E.A.M activities for enthusiasts of all ages.

2pm–2:30pm
Splendid Teapot Racing (Pre-Registration)

Bring your teapot racer to the track for early trials, and let the judges have a look at what you’ve built. Bribes accepted, naturally. Official rules are available here.

2:30pm–??
Splendid Teapot Racing

Sponsored by: Bloomington Public Library

Laugh and cheer as you watch the intrepid teapot racers attempt to conquer the Ramp of Doom, Tunnel of Terror, and other obstacles in this timed, highly entertaining competition! Emceed event with awards. Entry forms available at Registration booth.

2–3:30pm
Arc Attack — Singing Tesla Coil Performance

Ticketed event. The creators of the original Singing Tesla Coil, ArcAttack uses their high tech wizardry to generate a truly ‘electrifying’ performance. Combining their love of rock music and their love of science, this is a show you will never forget!

Two custom-engineered, hand built Tesla Coils throw out electrical arcs up to twelve feet long, each one acting as an instrument with a sound reminiscent of the early days of the synthesizer. A robotic drum set accompanies the spectacle, its high power LEDs flashing bright colors with the stroke of each mechanically actuated stick.

The show features their signature tesla coils with members of the group literally walking through lightning, plus fun interactive experiments including the Voltage Multiplier, Can Crusher, and more. Part rock concert, part science experiment the creators of ArcAttack unveil the science behind the spectacle. You’ll participate in a show that’s both entertaining and interactive.

4:30–6pm
Joshua Kane’s ‘Gothic at Midnight’

Sponsored by: Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

Joshua Kane performs Gothic at Midnight – A Tribute to the Masters of the Macabre. The Demons of Darkness have come to Bloomington. Experience a roller coaster ride of terror and laughter as NYC actor Joshua Kane populates the stage with unforgettable characters. Inspired by the old-time radio dramas of Orson Welles and Vincent Price, Kane bewitches audiences with a devilish sense of fun and whimsy. Drawing from the works of Poe, Dickens, Bierce, and other classic creepers, Kane “amuses you with his antics, frightens you with his intensity and charms you with his tales of the fantastic.” – The Charleston City Paper

“A compelling performance — thrillingly intense one minute, hilariously funny the next. The audience loved him.” —Adele Adkins, Maine Center for the Arts

‘Gothic at Midnight’ is a FREE performance for Cogs & Corsets attendees, made possible by the BCPA.

5–10pm
FREE Summer Concert on the Square

This ‘once in a blue moon’ occurrence has central Illinois’ biggest outdoor blues concert happening the same Saturday as Cogs & Corsets… which means FREE music and entertainment on the downtown square all night!

The 19th annual FREE WGLT Summer Concert brings an incredible lineup every year! The performers for 2019 have not been announced yet, but they’re sure to be exciting. We’ll post the information here, so stay tuned.

Walk-around beer/wine garden and food vendors opens around the Museum Square at 3:30. Music begins at 5pm.

6:30pm–midnight
Open Gaming

Your fellow gamers will be gathering at Red Raccoon Games for some late-night play of your favorites. Come make some new friends ’round the tables!

7:30–9pm
Arc Attack — Singing Tesla Coil Performance

Ticketed event.

See description at the 2pm time slot.

9:00pm
Steampunk Drag Show

What else can we say? This is where Steampunk styling goes beyond splendid into fabulous! The Bistro, Bloomington’s premier alternative bar and live performance venue, brings you Sharon Sharealike’s stunning drag performers for a night to remember. 21+ only. Tickets can be purchased at the door (316 N. Main St.) and are not included in VIP packages.

10–11:30pm
Joshua Kane’s ‘Gothic at Midnight’

Sponsored by: Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

See description at the 4:30pm time slot.

‘Gothic at Midnight’ is a FREE performance for Cogs & Corsets attendees, made possible by the BCPA.

11:00pm
Steampunk Drag Show

What else can we say? This is where Steampunk styling goes beyond splendid into fabulous! The Bistro, Bloomington’s premier alternative bar and live performance venue, brings you Sharon Sharealike’s stunning drag performers for a night to remember. 21+ only. Tickets can be purchased at the door (316 N. Main St.) and are not included in VIP packages.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

9am–2pm
Steampunk Market (Vendor area) open
10am–1pm
Workshops
Photo Ops Open

The McLean County Museum of History offers prime photo ops both inside and out. Immortalize your best costumes with selfies in our old-world ‘photo booth,’ or take advantage of the Museum’s innate turn-of-the-century architectural backdrops.

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! Fast-paced fun for all ages.

Tea Room Open

Sponsor: Beezer Family Honey

Arguably THE place to see and be seen! Relax in style in Lady Erika Jarden’s tea room, located in the restored 1903 courtroom on the second floor of the McLean County Museum of History. Enjoy selections of fortifying tea, biscuits, and your delightful hostess, famed Lady Erika herself. Purchase your Tea Room pass ($5 per person) online, on-site at the registration booth, or inside the Museum of History for open access to three fortifying rounds of tea and biscuits during the festival.

10:30am–12:30pm
Dine with the Dead: Cemetery Customs and Traditions of Days Gone By

(Guided Tour and Picnic)

Ticketed event. Enjoying a picnic in a cemetery was not always a taboo activity. Quite the contrary—a graveside lunch was a leisure activity for many. People often dined while visiting their dearly departed, and city residents regularly took advantage of cemeteries for strolls and carriage rides too. 

In the spirit (pun intended) of the age, enjoy a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery (one of Bloomington’s oldest) and embark on a one-hour guided tour to learn about funerary customs of the Victorian-era, explore the types of monuments that populate the cemetery, and hear stories of some of the McLean County citizens who reside there. Ticket includes round-trip trolley transportation from the Museum Square and a selection of a boxed picnic lunches.

11am
Vrooman Mansion Brunch

Ticketed event. Back by popular demand: A grand finale to your Cogs & Corsets weekend is an elegant plated brunch in the Parlor, Foyer, and Music Room of this 1869 historic mansion turned Bed & Breakfast. While this year’s menu is still being finalized, in previous years the brunch featured a variety of baked goods and fresh fruit, quiche, crepes with fresh mixed berry sauce, bacon & sausage. Iced water, orange juice, coffee or tea. Limited to 26 general admission tickets.

Ticket also includes round-trip trolley transportation from the Museum Square.

11am–12:30pm
Splendid Teapot (Open Play)

The races may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand at maneuvering a teapot over the obstacles! Challenge a friend to a time trial, or just test your skills on the course.

10am–2pm
Activities at the Museum (East Lawn)
  • Croquet
  • Dirigible Races
  • Photo Booth open
  • Demonstrations