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  • Matt Milner
  • Mon August 12 2019
  • Posted Aug 12, 2019

If there’s one thing every RAGBRAI host city knows, it’s that you need volunteers to pull off a successful visit. A lot of volunteers.

For Michael Halley, one of the organizers of Fairfield’s RAGBRAI events, there was a second challenge. Everyone understood the idea of a “Geared for Weird” slogan. But the steampunk theme? That required some teaching.

“At first some people didn’t know what steampunk was,” Halley said. “As they were introduced to it they saw it was a fun, playful thing.”

Steampunk, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a form of speculative cosplay and fiction. It envisions a world in which steam power, not electricity, is the primary source of power. It draws on some of the early science fiction, like Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” or H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds.”

Time travel, airships and people like Brother Barnabas Brass-Boilerplate, also known as His Radiance, the Steampunk Pope, are all part of the fun.


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