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Anchorage Mini Maker Faire celebrates local do-it-yourselfers

By Hope Miller 7:56 AM July 25, 2014

Imagine your childhood school science fair without the grades and with cooler gadgets, and you might have an idea for what’s in store at Saturday’s Anchorage Mini Maker Faire.

Starting at noon, you can head down to the Loussac Library to mingle with local techies, tinkerers, crafters and everyone in between to see Alaskans show off their stuff.

The event is a collaboration between the Alaska Small Business Development Center, Anchorage Makerspace and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, will be the keynote speaker.

Some noteworthy attractions include robotics teams, vintage and linux computers and 3D printers, said Dale Rooney, one of the fair’s backers. The kid-friendly event will also feature Kaleidoscape Play Studio and other activities ideal for children.

An electrician by trade and a computer geek by choice, Rooney helped make the event a reality last year and was a key player in Anchorage Makerspace’s foundation a few years ago. The Anchorage nonprofit is part of the Maker Movement that encourages innovation and experimentation by anyone interested in learning how things work. The theme of the Maker Faire is no different, Rooney said.

While there’s sure to be competition from Arctic Thunder, he says he’s hoping for a good turnout this year. Based on ticket sales, he estimates more than 1,000 people showed up for last year’s Maker Faire.

“Everybody had a great time,” Rooney said.

The Anchorage event isn’t an isolated occurrence. Many cities around the world have their own Maker Faires of varying scales. The World Maker Faire takes place next month in New York.

If you go:

  • When: Saturday, July 26 from 12-5 p.m.
  • Where: Loussac Public Library
  • How much: Tickets are $5 and children 12 years old and younger get in for free

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