- City Guides
Cog County Faire Turns Six
This year’s edition of the Wisconsin steampunk event will add an all-day makers’ room
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Vourteque, Sons of Temperance, Mermaid Echo, and Chicago theatrical troupe Phantasmagoria will provide the entertainment as Cog County Faire returns May 30-June 2 to the White Lake Beach Resort in Montello, Wisconsin. It’s the sixth edition of the event, billed as “the best parts of a County Faire, but with a Steampunk twist.” It’s produced by PJ Shultz and Sarah Lash, the self-described “steampunk geeks” who own the resort.
The event will feature a mix of new programming and old favorites. New this year are a Thursday night VIP dinner and show, plus an all-day makers’ room and classes on Saturday. The old favorites include a merchant bazaar, tea room, fencing booth, steamboat regatta, steampunk-themed carnival games, black powder shooting demonstration, and a Victorian swimsuit competition open to men and women.
Vourteque is a neo-vintage DJ who often appears at steampunk events. He serves as the faire’s entertainment coordinator and will host a Saturday night dance party in addition to other activities over the weekend.
Sons of Temperance describe their music as the “19th century sound of ringing banjos, clacking bones, rhythmic bass and the jolly tambourine, playing somber murder ballads, jaunty minstrel tunes, Celtic drinking songs, and tunes superimposed into that time with reckless abandon.” On Friday night, they’ll be hosting a “Temperance and Temptation” dinner, apparently with a hefty dose of temptation as each $20 ticket includes two beverages.
Phantasmagoria is a burlesque dance and theatrical group founded in 2016 by Leah, aka Lennox Antibiotix. It originated in Chicago as a theatrical tribute to the works of Neil Gaiman and Jim Henson. It’s not to be confused with the Orlando, Florida performance group also known as Phantasmagoria.
Mermaid Echo is a performance artist who appears in the guise of a mermaid. She also aims to educate the public about environmental conservation.
The Steamboat Regatta is both a race and maker competition. Teams are each given an aluminum boat, and are challenged to add a propulsion method that cannot include an electric or gasoline engine. They can fabricate the propulsion components ahead of time. This year’s regatta is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at 3 p.m.
Thursday night’s VIP dinner will feature a 7.5-course Victorian meal and a “private performance.” The entertainment has not yet been announced. Tickets cost $35 per person and advance reservations are required. If you reserve a spot, you can get half-priced lodging for Thursday night.
Shultz and Lash launched the event in 2013 as a Steampunk Day at the Beach. Their resort business precluded them from attending summer steampunk events, “so we decided to bring an event to us,” Lash says. They adopted the county fair theme in 2014. It usually draws about 300 guests.
The full schedule is posted here.
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