This was a first for Manticore Society to attend: the annual Dickens Festival in Riverside, CA. Unsure of what to expect, we got together in our best attempts at 19th Century dress and headed over on a rainy day to Downtown Riverside. The captain dressed in his best "hobo" wear and I as a reformed tart dressed as a nun! The first thing Capt. Wong Wei and I noticed about this area was that it was incredibly beautiful and had really interesting architecture. The fair was set up of vendor booths, exhibits, teas, dances and shows. Minstrels and carolers traveled through the crowd, actors read scenes from A Christmas Carol, and musicians performed in the Chinese pavilion.
Along with the period appropriate dressed patrons and visitors in present day attire, steampunks made their marks and gave those who were not familiar with the genre many questions as to why were were wearing goggles with our costumes! Eventually Capt. Wong Wei and I found our friends Cindy and Jerry along with their friends from the sewing circle. Cindy made her debut in a dress that she had labored over for a long while and it was amazing!
After wandering around the grounds, snapping many pictures around the little hidden corners and seeing a gatling gun exhibit (that was VERY loud!) Capt. Wong Wei and I stood about and talked to our friends, some he knew already and those I met and immediately liked! We even got interviewed for an internet Mediocre Minds concerning the festival and steampunk. (And yes, we did give a shout out to our Manticore Society members!) We could have stood much longer speaking about or different ideas and experiences but the cold was taking over and I was starting to become sick. We did have a wonderful time at this new-to-us festival, will definitely come back next year, and come back just to have another look at everything and take more pictures!
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- Report by Merci/Photos by Captain Wong Wei -