Get your creative juices flowing

You don’t need much to attend the Maker Faire.

Just bring along your ideas, imagination – and prepare to tinker away.

This year marks the seventh annual Maker Faire Westport, a family-friendly gathering for tech enthusiasts, craftsmen, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, artists, authors, students and commercial exhibitors to show what they’ve made and share what they’ve learned.

Expected to draw more than 12,000 visitors, the fair is the hybrid of a traditional county fair and a conventional science fair.

Those attending this Saturday, April 21, are in for a treat, because the fair has grown exponentially. The number of makers has nearly doubled, approaching 200, while a grant from the Anne Eyes Science Lecture series has allowed for four speakers to share their insights with the crowd. Throughout, musicians, including an orchestra, a steel band and a group from Israel – will be performing onstage and around the fair, while artists will be showcasing their work and artisans will be selling their wares.

There’s also a series of large attractions new this year, which include:

  • Truckers Alley – An assortment of vehicles with equally large ideas from companies that include American Welding Society, General Dynamics Electric Boat, ASML and Eversource;
  • Tiny Homes Hamlet – A selection of small houses allowing guests to experience what the tiny home craze is all about (think HGTV’s “Tiny House, Big Living”), sponsored by David Adam Realty;
  • Tiny Farms Market — The complement to the Tiny Homes Hamlet, previewing what’s coming up in local farmers’ markets;
  • Medieval Village and Medieval Tavern – A space dedicated to life in the Middle Ages, including a tavern to sample local brews between 2 and 6 p.m. (No worries, you can leave the armor behind);
  • PlasmaBot – A 9-foot tall glass and plasma marionette, which will be unveiled by its creator, Wayne Strattman;
  • Gubernatorial Panel – A forum for some 20 declared candidates for governor of Connecticut to discuss ideas, in partnership with the League of Women Voters;
  • Aviation – An event featuring a half-sized model of flight pioneer Gustave Whitehead’s airplane, along with a number of aviation-themed activities, drones and an aviation panel;
  • Stanley Black & Decker Air Rocket Challenge – An opportunity for people to build cardboard rockets and launch them using a “football” mechanism;
  • CTNext Entrepreneurial Innovation Awards – A business plan competition showcasing some of the emerging businesses in Connecticut;
  • Wells Fargo Stagecoach – One of the original six-horse stagecoaches that symbolize the bank/brokerage house;
  • Sacred Heart University Engineering – Featuring Game of Drones, this exhibition demonstrates drone skills in controlled spaces; and
  • Shintaro Akatsu School of Design – Featuring the Nerdy Derby, in which participants are invited to build, decorate and race model cars,

Remarkable STEAM produces the Maker Faire Westport in partnership with The Westport Library. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road, Westport. For more, visit westport-makerfaire.com.

Danielle Renda

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