The seventh annual Maker Faire Westport will be on Saturday, April 21, 2018 in downtown Westport. This is Connecticut’s largest event focused on creativity and innovation. The organizers are planning on a record 12,000+ attendees.
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire Westport is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire Westport to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.
Of the 770+ Maker Faires worldwide in 2017, Maker Faire Westport is in the top 5% of attendance globally.
New This Year
This year brings a new scale for Maker Faire Westport. Here are some of the numbers.
This year, Maker Faire Westport more than tripled its footprint. From being primarily at the Westport Library and Jesup Green area in prior years, Maker Faire Westport now encompass that space plus the Taylor Parking Lot, Veteran’s Green, Town Hall and parts of Bedford Square.
This year, Maker Faire Westport offers an unprecedented six stages where there was previously only one. This has allowed a showcase of talented people and organizations in the arts, sciences, music and even politics to Maker Faire Westport attendees. Through a grant from the Anne Eyes Science Lecture series, four different speakers will be speaking at Maker Faire Westport.
The number of makers has nearly doubled, approaching 200 this year. This means that attendees will have even more to engage and inspire them.
Large attractions this year include:
- Truckers Alley – a collection of large vehicles with commensurate large ideas from companies such as: American Welding Society, General Dynamics Electric Boat, ASML and Eversource;
- Tiny Homes Hamlet sponsored by David Adam Realty – a collection of tiny homes that let people see and experience what tiny homes are all about;
- Tiny Farmers Market – adjacent to the Tiny Homes Hamlet, this is a way that people can experience a taste of upcoming farmers markets;
- Medieval Village and Medieval Tavern – an entire area dedicated to medieval experience and entertainment plus from 2 – 6 pm, a tavern to sample some local brews (must be 21; entrance fee);
- PlasmaBot – The world’s largest (9 feet tall) glass and plasma marionette will be unveiled in Town Hall and its creator, Wayne Strattman, will speak about his creation in Town Hall;
- Gubernatorial Panel – in partnership with the League of Women Voters, close to 20 declared candidates for Governor of Connecticut will meet in Town Hall to discuss their ideas on being governor;
- Aviation – Along with a half sized model of Gustave Whitehead’s airplane, there are a number of aviation-themed activities going on, including drones and an aviation panel;
- Stanley Black & Decker Air Rocket Challenge – This lets people build cardboard rockets and launch them with a very cool “football” mechanism;
- CTNext Entrepreneurial Innovation Awards – A business plan competition showcasing some of the emerging businesses in Connecticut;
- Wells Fargo Stagecoach – Wells Fargo Bank is bringing their iconic stagecoach to Maker Faire Westport
- Sacred Heart University Engineering is sponsoring the Game of Drones – This is an exhibition of drone skills in controlled spaces as well as learning to solder and other useful and interesting activities;
- Shintaro Akatsu School of Design is sponsoring the Nerdy Derby – This activity lets people of all ages build, decorate and race cars;
In addition to some of the new attractions this year, we have events that
- Musicians – We have musicians of all sorts both on stages and around the Faire. This includes an orchestra, a steel band and even a group from Israel;
- Artists – We have artists showcasing their work, whether it be with textiles, paint, recycled materials and even bones!
- Crafters – For people who like to find some fine handmade items, there are plenty of people who are showing and selling their wares.
For more information about Maker Faire Westport, the schedule of speakers and events and attractions, go to http://westport.makerfaire.com.
Maker Faire Westport is produced by Remarkable STEAM, Inc. in partnership with the Westport Library. The Maker Faire Westport name is licensed from Maker Media, Inc.
About Remarkable STEAM
Remarkable STEAM is the leading Connecticut organization that promotes innovation and creativity in the areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). It focuses on support for education and job creation. Remarkable STEAM is a 501(c)(3) organization. Its leadership team founded and through generous community support, finances Maker Faire Westport and supports similar initiatives. It is creating “maker” events and facilities where people can improve their lives and communities.
About the Westport Library
Since 1886, the Westport Library has been devoted to enriching the intellectual and creative lives of the residents of Westport. Overlooking the scenic Saugatuck River, the Westport Library is a vibrant community hub where people of all ages come to seek information, gain knowledge, exchange ideas and share experiences.
Construction is currently underway on a major renovation project at the Library. Among other exciting features, the renovated space will feature an increased number of conference rooms and quiet areas, an enlarged Library Café, a professional, state-of-the-art recording studio, a larger dedicated MakerSpace and a HackerSpace workshop with prototyping equipment and co-working space. To learn more about the project visit: www.wltransformationproject.org.
The Westport Library earned the prestigious “Five-Star Library” status in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 from Library Journal, the nation’s premier publication for libraries. Only 1% percent of public libraries nationally earned 5 stars.
About Maker Faire
Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.
Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.
The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2017 celebrated its twelfth annual show with some 1200 makers and 125,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in six years to 900+ makers and 95,000 attendees. Forty larger scale Maker Faires occur in cities around the world—Berlin, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, and Shenzhen to name a few—and over 220 community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced in the United States and in 43 other countries around the world.