Steamfest 2020

From 7-9 March 2020, the 26th annual SteamFest will bring history to life over three days with one of the biggest collections of working steam machinery in Australia.

Steam train rides, exhibitions of pioneering skills showing how things were done in yesteryear, ploughing displays and a full wood chopping competition on Monday. Plenty of kid’s entertainment plus lots and lots of art, craft and food stalls. And, of course, the Krauss steam loco running every half hour, all day long!

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Press Release - 22 February 2020

With SteamFest 2020 rapidly approaching excitement is mounting in the rural town of Sheffield, the “Town of Murals”.

The secretary of the Sheffield Steam and Heritage Society, Jill Ridgway, has the daunting task of coordinating the efforts and enthusiasm of the many volunteers, exhibitors and stallholders of this premier regional event. Ms Ridgway is confident that this will be the biggest and best SteamFest to date, the 26th time it has been held at the Sheffield Recreation Precinct, in Spring Street. Last year was the 25th anniversary where records show that more than 10,000 patrons attended. While she acknowledges that there has been some decline in tourist numbers in the area as a result of external factors she says there are many positives in sight.

SteamFest is primarily a celebration of Tasmania's social, agricultural and technological heritage. The clarion call has gone out for the Tasmanian population to support our local tourist centres to help them weather the perfect storm of fire, flood and pestilence. SteamFest is the biggest steam themed event in Tasmania and while it radiates a carnival like atmosphere its primary focus is to showcase the working steam engines and associated machinery held in our extensive collection. Additionally many other compatible exhibits are brought on site from enthusiasts from around the state, and indeed from interstate.

This year patrons may feel that the Sheffield site has morphed into the Ankh-Morpork, the fragrant city from Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Patrons, stall holders, exhibitors, indeed everyone is encouraged to wear Victorian era SteamPunk costumes. A strange steam appliance will motor through the grounds, people will be riding pony carts and horse drawn carriages. Even the City Watch in the form of medieval warriors will be in attendance. You may spot your favourite characters in some guise, Lord Vetinari, Crispin Horsefry, many Adora Belle Dearhearts and possibly Moist Von Lipwig incognito.

How is this possible? The SteamFest organising committee made the decision to offer reduced price entry for adults and free for children if they arrive in SteamPunk costumes, the somewhat zany and imaginative dress from the same Victorian era as the film “Going Postal”.

Mr Brenton Wheare, chairperson of the organising committee forsees the possibility of a future SteamFest based on the theme of Prachett's less well known book “Raising Steam”. He said that “the Redwater Creek Railway was the perfect backdrop, and that we have some of the main characters on our committee.”

Sales of preloved clothing at opportunity and tip shops is predicted to rise as the excitement grows.

SteamFest is held on the March long weekend, 7th to 9th March.

Brenton Wheare. 0467 168 651

Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite, and at the gate. Express Entry is provided for pre-purchased tickets.