Inventors, creators and tinkerers of all sorts displayed their passions at the Lafayette Science Museum on Saturday as hundreds of curious visitors roamed around the third annual Steampunk and Makers Fair, marveling at their creations.
Celebrating science, technology, education, mathematics and art, steampunk is a Victorian take to the industrial revolution and science fiction. Makers are innovators and inventors, and can include anything including jewelry made of gears and drones.
Chad Lacomb, committee chairman for the fair, defined steampunk as “the Jules Verne version of science fiction.”
For local Tom Coleman, it is the creativity of the makers that persuades him to attend the event every year with his son Graham. He said he comes for the eclectic membership “and to see the creativity of people repurpose junk into desirables.”
New this year to the fair were the Louisiana Drone Enthusiasts, who represented the fair’s maker element. Tucked into a corner of the second floor, the group set up an obstacle course to fly drones through and had dozens of drones on display that were built by members of the organization. One drone even had the head of Yoda, of “Star Wars,” with a camera coming out of its mouth.
All throughout the museum in between the exhibits were people dressed in all sorts of outfits. Some women were dressed in long, dark Victorian skirts with steel-bone corsets cinching their waists and futuristic bronze guns hung on their hips. Men with curled mustaches, suspenders and walking sticks compared steampunk-themed props, praised each other’s outfits and shopped for new jewelry and hats made of clock gears.
“We have a lot of vendors that combine those (steampunk) elements and sell them here,” Lacomb said. “So we have Victorian corsets, feather dusters and hats, and lights that look like the old Edison light bulbs, jewelry and just a whole range of stuff.”
There were also belly dancers and a beard contest, in addition to the drone races at the event.
The first Steampunk Fair was in collaboration with the Cité des Arts 10th anniversary celebration, and the Makers Fair was added to the mix the next year, along with the Lafayette Science Museum. Last year, the Steampunk and Makers Fair saw more than 3,500 visitors.
“I just like how (it’s) a bunch of people who like the same stuff we do and it’s not really awkward,” said Maegn Patin, 15, who went to the fair dressed as a vampire hunter with others dressed like various monster hunters. “It’s a fun event to be yourself and not be made fun of.”