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Imagine a child’s first white Christmas: the excitement of snow, the mystique of Santa, and the oh-so-important presents. Now multiply that feeling threefold, and add in some fire, a few hundred robots, and enough paper rockets to make NASA nervous. Overwhelmed? So was I!

Because I work at MAKE, I know this may come as a surprise, but this was my first (gasp!) Maker Faire! On the drive to San Mateo, I didn’t know what to expect. What would the crowd be like? Would I get any free time to check out the booths? Did the compressed air rocket booth have a maximum age? One of these questions loomed above all; I’ll leave you to figure it out!

The answer to each question surprised me. First, I thought that a large crowd, in a hot, enclosed area, would be an irritable bunch to deal with. I was completely wrong! During my shifts at our MAKE Booth in the Expo Hall, I held interesting conversations with new readers and veteran makers alike, on topics ranging from featured projects to favorite booths at the fair. I chatted with many visitors about their maker beliefs, and we swapped stories of projects gone horribly wrong-all in good humor! I did not encounter a single person who was irritated, difficult, or rude; everyone respected the mutual interests of those around them. When a man called the cellphone he had lost at our booth from another phone, he and I chatted about the newest Arduino before confirming a rendezvous point!

I was cleverly given split shifts at the booth, so that I could wander and explore in the middle of the day before returning for the breakdown. I quickly learned that one does not simply “wander” through Maker Faire; I’m pretty sure I was the only person over the age of 10 who did every booth’s activity as I passed it! The amazing variety of subjects that all fall under the umbrella of “DIY tech” never ceases to amaze me. I learned to make fire with a bow-drill, then hustled over for a turn in a motorized cupcake!

Maker Faire exceeded my expectations in every way. The entire MAKE Crew, along with the fantastic volunteer Maker Corps, gave me the quintessential First Maker Faire: a smooth setup, a wonderful event experience, and an easy breakdown. Because I was staff, I didn’t have the time to get to all of the booths. Next year! I immensely enjoyed chatting with everyone, and because of their sociability, I’ll end with this: if you ever want to make a couple thousand friends in one afternoon, head to your nearest Maker Faire!


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Comments

  1. Manny Laracuente says:

    It is moments like the one you had that makes me more intuitive to spread more knowledge so that we can have more Christmas days like the on you had at the faire.(P.S. I too haven’t gone to a faire yet but am going to Kansas C
    ity cant wait)^_^

  2. [...] response to Intern’s Corner: My First Faire, Manny Laracuente says: It is moments like the one you had that makes me more intuitive to spread [...]

  3. Thomas says:

    I too went to my first makers faire in N. California. To say there was something for everyone was an understandment. I took my twins kids 6.5 yrs old and my wife. My wife was expecting a star trek convenion gone bad. And I have to admit, that I did see may contestants for the Nerd of the Year contest, but Wow! What an incredible diversity of everything great about this planet. it didn’t matter whether it was remote control, out of wood, metal, lights, games, robots, electronics, water, or pinball machines, it was there. It was simply amazing. My kids are still excited by it. And the other two amazing things was seeing a raggae band all running on bicycle power and amazing towers of Lights. (Note to self, bring ear plugs since it was really, really LOUD). I’m hooked, I’m commited, I will be there yearly until I’m dead…. it was that good… Now if I only had time to complete the 100 new projects that we got…. Thomas in San Jose

  4. [...] response to Intern’s Corner: My First Faire, Manny Laracuente says: It is moments like the one you had that makes me more intuitive to spread [...]

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