Watch City Steampunk Festival

Centered on Waltham’s beautiful Common at the corner of Main and Moody Streets, the Watch City Steampunk Festival is the great outdoor festival of the Steampunk genre—a cultural and social movement melding elements of Victorian-era history and fashion with retro-futuristic technology.

Watch City 2015 will featuring a broad array of theatrical and musical performers as well as clothing, jewelry, art, and food vendors. The Festival is will also include kids programming, making this most definitely a family friendly event, as well.

WCSF 2019:


We are pleased to announce that this coming Watch City Steampunk Festival will feature a Mad Science Exhibition! On festival day 2019, makers, inventors, artists, engineers, hobbyists, and crackpots of all sorts will exhibit their most astonishing creations on Waltham Common. The most impressive among them will be awarded prizes!

The Watch City Steampunk Festival is currently seeking entrants
for our 2019 festival’s “Mad Science Expo”

For nearly a decade, our festival has drawn thousands of curious minds to historic Waltham, Massachusetts for a day filled with stunning performances, great local food, one of a kind artisans, and a merry celebration of retro-futurism and imaginative ingenuity.

Next year’s festival, slated for May 11th, 2019, will feature a special competition for makers, engineers, hobbyists, tinkerers, and the like to exhibit their creative prowess. Competitors will submit an “invention” in the form of a contraption, construct, or kinetic sculpture -- stylized to suit the Steampunk aesthetic -- that demonstrate a principle, perform a task, or produce some manner of captivating display. We’re looking for perpetual motion engines, Useless Machines (a la Theo Jansen or Rube Goldberg), garage-built automata, things to arrest the eye and tickle the brain. On festival day, the entrants will exhibit and demonstrate their creations under the Inventor’s Tent on Waltham Common. Festival-goers will stop and learn about the various inventions, and cast votes for their favorite. At closing ceremonies, the first, second, and third place winners will be announced and awards given.

Applicants should be prepared to produce a working prototype of their “invention” by March of 2019 and be prepared to transport their entry to and from Waltham common on festival day. Want some help steampunking your invention? We’d be happy to advise!

All interested makers should fill out THIS ENTRY FORM in full, and submit it by Nov 1, 2018.

The requirements for entry are as follows:

  • Entry must be represented by some manner of physical contrivance; a device or contraption to exhibit a principle or perform a task.

  • Entry must be safe for public exhibition at a family friendly event.

  • Entry must be stylized/decorated to fit the steampunk aesthetic. Consultation and suggestions may be given upon request.

  • Entry must be presented under the title of a remarkable invention or some such narrative. Ie: a Villard’s Wheel being presented as “Professor Villiard’s Infinity Engine!” Consultation and suggestions may be given upon request.

  • Entry must be submitted with a written and printed description of its function and purpose.

  • Entry and corresponding apparatus must not occupy a space greater than 3 feet by 3 feet

  • Entrants must transport entry and corresponding apparatus to and from festival grounds themselves.

  • Entrants are responsible for maintaining operation and security of entry throughout festival day.


Here are some examples
of the sort of devices we’d like to see entered:


But this is no ordinary science exhibition!
This is a STEAMPUNK science exhibition!


We Want you to turn this..



Need advice on how to make your invention fit the Steampunk aesthetic? Look at some examples here or reach out to us.

We’ll be happy to help!