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Grantham Carnival to have steampunk theme this year

Major Black and family
Major Black and family

Grantham Carnival promises to be more colourful than ever this year when the science fiction fantasy craze steampunk takes centre stage.

Invitations are going out to steampunk societies and groups all over the country to join in the town’s annual carnival celebrations, which this year take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18.

The term steampunk was originated by American science fiction and horror author K. W. Jeter in the late 1980s to describe a genre of speculative science fiction in which steam, not electricity, drove technological advancements.

Since then it has been used to describe an artistic and cultural movement, which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and which incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery.

Greg Smithson, of Lincoln-based Steampunks of the Well, is hoping to attract a number of steampunk groups and societies from all over the country to participate in this year’s carnival.

Greg, who calls himself Major Buffet Black, said: “We are hoping to have 24 stalls and will be organising a couple of steampunk events each day.”

One of the attractions he is hoping to introduce to carnival-goers is steampunk tea duelling, a sport that, as the name suggests, involves piping hot cups of tea and biscuits. Each participant must first dunk their biscuit in the tea for a set amount of time and then eat the biscuit in its entirity, with animated audience participation, cheering on the duellists and particularly watching out for any cheating, very much encouraged.

“It should be great fun,” said Greg.

Never knowingly understated, steampunk enthusiasts, wearing their weird and wonderful fantasy costumes, are sure to provide the carnival parade with an added element of colour and originality,

The two-day carnival will once again take place at Wyndham Park.


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