KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The tents outside Union Station make it look like the circus has come to town. And it kind of has. This weekend, “ Maker Faire: Kansas City ” returns for a second year.
"We about doubled our number of makers, which are the booths. We hope to double attendance to 12 to 15 thousand," said Luis Rodriguez, Maker Faire: Kansas City organizer.
He says this is currently the fourth largest Maker Faire in the country.
So what's a Maker Faire?
"It's a gathering of folks that are passionate about a project that they've created themselves," Rodriguez said. "They didn't buy it, they created it."
It’s sometimes described as "The greatest show and tell on Earth."
The maker movement started in the San Francisco Bay area about six years ago. It encourages people to become producers rather than consumers, often by modifying objects for new uses.
The Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship thought a maker faire would help promote entrepreneurship, and Union Station thought it was a great tie in with Science City.
"Maker Faire for us is a way to bring out the creativity, the inspiration, that's happening in the community, but no one else knows about," said Jerry Baber, Senior Vice President and CFO of Union Station.
Which explains the mysterious boxes that keep coming in. And the scary, scary amounts of electricity.
"Arc Attack is performing outside. It's a half million volt Tesla coil. It could kill you. But that's why there's a barricade in front of it," Rodriguez said.
If that's not your taste, you can pick up some black powder.
"Doctor Mirabulus' Elixir of Life Black Powder Kit. So you can make your own black powder," John Kuhns, owner of the HMS Beagle science store offered.
But not everything here is potentially fatal.
"Arts, crafts, engineering, robotics ,welding, carpentry," Rodriquez described the range of activities at the Faire. That mix is the key, he explained.
Glenda Werst will be demonstrating Do It Yourself Silk Screening with her daughter, as well as how to make paracord and can tab bracelets.
She is excited about her first Maker Faire.
"It's going to be showing you how to make things, it's going to be showing you what people have made," she said.
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