Dearborn Goes Geek-Town

Tom Murphy, Managing Editor

July 26, 2012

2 Min Read
Lifesize dinosaur made of recycled car parts Oh and it breathes fire
Lifesize dinosaur made of recycled car parts. Oh, and it breathes fire.

Henry Ford was an innovator of grand proportion, so it’s fitting the cultural gem of a museum named in his honor will host its third-annual Maker Faire this Saturday and Sunday.

Not familiar with this event, which started in 2006 in San Mateo, CA? This traveling 2-day festival is a celebration of grassroots American innovation.

Want to learn how to build your own amplifier? Ride a solar-powered go-cart? Watch adults race electric tricycles? Try on a Utili-kilt? See a man wearing a jacket that doubles as an LED TV screen? Feel the heat from a life-size fire-breathing dinosaur built from recycled car parts?

All of these attractions were part of last year’s Maker Faire, which was held on a scorching weekend at the Henry Ford that surely boosted attendance for the indoor portion of the event.

Still, more than 20,000 people attended last year to interact with 300 “makers,” who could be inventors, technologists, artists or performers.

This year, some 25,000 people are expected, and there will be 460 makers, so last year’s attendees will have at least 160 reasons to come back.

Once again, a 2-liter pop bottle will shoot across the pavement, powered by cola and Mentos.

New this year, Royal Oak’s Nick Britsky will host a Brick Challenge Game Show for those who like building with Legos. And Boston native Bethany Shorb will demonstrate her artistic skill with silkscreen neckties, which has evolved into a full-blown company, Cyberoptix TieLab, based in Detroit.

The Maker Faire is a tech-fest, but it’s not just for geeks. Every visitor, no matter the IQ, will find something interesting here. The Maker Faire is like Mardi Gras for the mind.

One-day tickets are $30 for adults, $20.50 for kids 5-12 and $27 for seniors over 62. Children 4 and under are free.

Two-day tickets also are available at a discount, and Henry Ford members save even more.

Maker Faire tickets include all-day admission to Henry Ford Museum.

About the Author(s)

Tom Murphy

Managing Editor, Informa/WardsAuto

Tom Murphy test drives cars throughout the year and focuses on powertrain and interior technology. He leads selection of the Wards 10 Best Engines, Wards 10 Best Interiors and Wards 10 Best UX competitions. Tom grills year-round, never leaves home without a guitar pick and aspires to own a Jaguar E-Type someday.

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