• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Maker Faire returns to Orlando for 10th year of creativity

ByRandall B. Phelps

Aug 8, 2022

Artisans, makers and creators of all ages will congregate this fall at the Central Florida Fairgrounds as make creators returns for its 10th anniversary.

As the maker movement gains momentum and ordinary people learn to create their own things, the Maker Faire, which returns November 5-6, offers people of all ages and walks of life a place to celebrate the art of building and manufacturing.

The annual event, which is expected to attract 10,000 visitors and 300 exhibits, also offers a wide range of hands-on demonstrations and learning opportunities.

“We have something for everyone. We have things that are kid-oriented and things that are big-kid oriented,” said Ian Cole, one of the event’s founders and organizers. “We have robot battles and power races where adults build electric vehicles and race them on a track. We have a bunch of hands-on exhibits where you can learn how to make a t-shirt, how to weld or how to make a button. We have belt sander races.

Now back for its 10th year, the event began after Cole and other maker friends visited a fair on the West Coast.

“We went to the Maker Faire Bay Area in San Francisco. I took my son, who was 11 at the time. He was so blown away,” Cole said. “He had this revelation that ‘ordinary people can do amazing things’.”

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Through the fair and the community around it, makers have made connections that have forged new businesses and relationships or boosted careers.

“We had makers who met and got married,” Cole said. “What’s really rewarding is seeing some of these kids who were 10 or 11 at the time graduating from college… One of these kids has just taken a job with Blue Origin in Huntsville , Alabama.”

In preparation for this fall’s show, Maker Faire is calling on engineers and artists to participate and share their know-how at the event. The application deadline for manufacturers and vendors is August 31.

The festivities loom at a time when makers seem to be having their moment.

“Sometimes people want to do things that are more bespoke and personalized. For me, one of my big passions is getting together with friends to create cool stuff,” Cole said. “Our local designer spaces are very much alive and attracting a lot of interest.”

The Maker Faire returns from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 5 and 6 at 4603 W. Colonial Drive in Orlando. Early-bird tickets are available through August 31 for $10 each, providing two-day access. Children 3 and under enter free. On-site parking is free. Food and beverage vendors are available at the event. For more information, visit makerfaireorlando.com.

Find me @PConnPie on Twitter and instagram or send me an email: pconnolly@orlandosentinel.com. For more fun things, follow @fun.things.orlando on instagram, Facebook and Twitter.