We are now Maker Faire Orlando – one of 12 “Featured” Maker Faire events around the world. For 2014, we’ve not only expanded to two days, we will have over 150 maker exhibits (over 85 have already been approved – see the list), over 12k more square feet within Orlando Science Center, and will be adding outdoor exhibits in Loch Haven Park. But wait, there’s more! Nerdy Derby, Power Racing, a disassembly & recycling area with Take it Apart, and a program for educators are just a few of the big additions to this year’s event.
If you’ve been to one of our past events, you may be wondering what happened to the “Mini Maker Faire” title – here’s the story…
In 2011, a few friends from FamiLAB ventured out to Maker Faire Bay Area and returned intent on bringing the inspiring spectacle that is Maker Faire to Orlando. We licensed the event, becoming “Orlando Mini Maker Faire” – as the events not produced by the official Maker Faire team are known as “Mini” events.
We didn’t have a clue how to produce a major event – but we had passion, determination, good friends, and a lot of luck. With over 100 Maker exhibits and over 2,500 attendees, Orlando Mini Maker Faire was anything but “mini”. The community support was incredible, and we knew that we’d do it again!
As we pondered how to make the event even better for 2013, we thought back to our visit to World Maker Faire New York, held at the NY Hall of Science, home to the 1964 World’s Fair. We loved the integration of Maker Faire into the existing exhibits – with children and adults moving from hands-on science exhibit to hands-on maker exhibit, and the combination of indoor spaces and outdoor spaces possible with the park next to the NY Hall of Science. We realized that our own Orlando Science Center and Loch Haven Park could make this possible for Orlando – and set out to make it happen.
We partnered with Orlando Science Center for Orlando Mini Maker Faire 2013, and welcomed over 100 maker exhibits and over 3,000 attendees throughout the Orlando Science Center. We had a fantastic time – but quickly realized that one day of Maker Faire wasn’t enough. We’d always planned to grow the event over time, but hadn’t expected the community to respond so quickly. After deliberation with our community partners – we made the decision to go big – and we highly appreciate the support we’ve received from our community partners, makers, volunteers, and sponsors.
Maker Faire Orlando remains a non-profit, community-led event, and we need your help to make it happen. If you’d like to be a part of it, as a maker, volunteer, community partner, sponsor, etc – check out the pages of this website, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org