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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening

Sunday, June 9
Starts at 9:00 AM

McLean County Museum of History
200 N. Main St, Bloomington IL 61701

Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening

The Museum is pleased to once again participate in the now third annual Cogs & Corsets festival. The Museum will be the site of history presentations, Tea Dueling, a Tea Room, and a variety of activities held on the Square with our friends from the Children’s Discovery Museum. Area galleries will feature the work of local and visiting artists alike, and the streets will be bustling with vendors, costumed visitors, teapot races, and more! We can’t wait to see you here! For registration and more information, please visit

Schedule at a glance for Sunday, June 9, 2019

**Please note that the schedule is subject to change**

Steampunk Market (Vendor area) open
Photo Ops Open

The McLean County Museum of History offers prime photo ops both inside and out. Immortalize your best costumes with selfies in our old-world ‘photo booth,’ or take advantage of the Museum’s innate turn-of-the-century architectural backdrops.

Dirigible Races

A Cogs & Corsets original! Challenge a friend to see who can move their dirigible the fastest along the airways. Those who wield their bellows the fastest will prevail! Fast-paced fun for all ages.

Tea Room Open

Sponsor: Beezer Family Honey

Arguably THE place to see and be seen! Relax in style in Lady Erika Jarden’s tea room, located in the restored 1903 courtroom on the second floor of the McLean County Museum of History. Enjoy selections of fortifying tea, biscuits, and your delightful hostess, famed Lady Erika herself. Purchase your Tea Room pass ($5 per person) online, on-site at the registration booth, or inside the Museum of History for open access to three fortifying rounds of tea and biscuits during the festival.

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Dine with the Dead: Cemetery Customs and Traditions of Days Gone By

(Guided Tour and Picnic)

Ticketed event. Enjoying a picnic in a cemetery was not always a taboo activity. Quite the contrary—a graveside lunch was a leisure activity for many. People often dined while visiting their dearly departed, and city residents regularly took advantage of cemeteries for strolls and carriage rides too. 

In the spirit (pun intended) of the age, enjoy a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery (one of Bloomington’s oldest) and embark on a one-hour guided tour to learn about funerary customs of the Victorian-era, explore the types of monuments that populate the cemetery, and hear stories of some of the McLean County citizens who reside there. Ticket includes round-trip trolley transportation from the Museum Square and a selection of a boxed picnic lunches.

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Vrooman Mansion Brunch

Ticketed event. Back by popular demand: A grand finale to your Cogs & Corsets weekend is an elegant plated brunch in the Parlor, Foyer, and Music Room of this 1869 historic mansion turned Bed & Breakfast. While this year’s menu is still being finalized, in previous years the brunch featured a variety of baked goods and fresh fruit, quiche, crepes with fresh mixed berry sauce, bacon & sausage. Iced water, orange juice, coffee or tea. Limited to 26 general admission tickets.

Ticket also includes round-trip trolley transportation from the Museum Square.

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Splendid Teapot (Open Play)

The races may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand at maneuvering a teapot over the obstacles! Challenge a friend to a time trial, or just test your skills on the course.

Activities at the Museum (East Lawn)
  • Croquet
  • Dirigible Races
  • Photo Booth open
  • Demonstrations