It's time to brush the dust off your goggles, air out your woollen waistcoats and visit your milliner for a new top hat, Nimmitabel's Steampunk @ Altitude Festival is back.
After its launch in 2017, Nimmitabel will once again host the quirky two-day festival on May 1-2, Saturday from 10am until 5pm, and Sunday 10am until 4pm.
The steampunk genre combines Victorian era clothing with Wild West themes and incorporates aesthetics inspired by 19th Century technology like steam powered machinery.
Alisa Thaler from the chamber of commence committee believes that the high altitude of the Nimmitabel town provides the perfect backdrop for the event.
"We have the elevation and the weather to host such an event as the cooler autumn weather allows for the layering of clothes.
"The whole village will be involved on the day so you can get out dressed in steam punk and feel you are in the right place."
The historical 18th Century buildings lining the main street also make the setting even more appropriate to host this retrofuturistic festival.
Steampunk is a diverse genre encompassing literature, fashion, art and cinema and has a diverse range of fans.
The festival has always brought in a lot of tourism to the local town said Ms Thaler, with people having registered that they would be travelling from as far as Newcastle to attend.
A family friendly event, the festival is free to the public and features great activities for the whole family, including a scavenger hunt for children on the Saturday.
"The children will walk around the main street and use the safe crossing area with a map. They will need to find 18 steampunk related pictures and then they they can go to Nimmity Artz for a small reward."
There will also be stalls open on the day, including clothing and jewellery stalls, as well as a vendor selling custom-made wooden toys.
Watching craft demonstrations from the Victorian era should also be a great way to spend the day with spinners, weavers, carpenters and handicraft makers ready to show off their traditional skills.
Fashion advice for the event
For those who love to dress up and show off their steampunk costumes, there will be fashion competitions on the Saturday at 2pm for men, women, children and groups.
To sign up for the competition, people can head to The Nimmitabel Lolly Shop where they can register and fill out a form about their persona on the day.
On the Sunday at 2pm, the pet fashion competition will run. All pets should be on a leash and for those without a pet to dress, a teddy bear may replace a four-legged friend.
Ms Thaler's fashion advice for the day is that outfits can be put together using finds from local op shops or second hand stores.
"They will have long skirts that can be pinned up, belts, shirts, hats, buttons, pins and broaches which can add to any outfit at the festival."
Otherwise she recommended the Nimmitabel Leather Shop for steampunk related gear such as hats, gloves and googles.
Festival entertainment and food options
There will be a number of small food and coffee stalls including an authentic Indian food tent, a soup stall and and food van producing typical Australian festival food. The Lions Club will also be running a barbecue and will have sausage sandwiches available.
There will be a variety of artists performing during the day at the stone mill, which was originally built in the town to grind flour in the 1800s.
For Saturday evening entertainment, Canberra Latin music band Pachamama will be performing for free at the Federal Hotel from 8-10pm, inspired by tango which originated in 18th Century Buenos Aires.
The venue will also be holding a Victorian four course banquet including soup, entree, main course and a dessert. The meal will be $35 per person and bookings will need to be made ahead of time directly with the Federal Hotel.
It is recommended that cash for the stalls is brought along on the day, however there is an ATM at the bakery available for people to use if needed.
The first official ringing of the Nimmity Bell
After a long five-year battle to get the Nimmity Bell up and running, the festival will also mark the first official ringing of the bell.
The 1.8 tonne bell was made in New York in 1920 and was only installed in 2020 after a long campaign led by the Nimmitabel Lions Club.
"It will start to ring at steampunk and then it will ring every day at 12 o'clock, 12 times" said Isabella Harrington from the Lions Club.
"It's been tested and been set up but this will be the first time it's officially been rung."
Volunteers still needed on the day of the event
Event organisers are still looking for volunteers and anyone who may wish to volunteer on the day should send a message through the Steampunk at Altitude's Facebook page.
Otherwise Nimmitabel Events, which is assisting with the event, can be reached by phone at 0497 261 605.