So, this year’s mini-Maker Faire East Bay (Oakland) was SO much better than last year. Last year it was pouring rain the whole time. Not entirely prepared for precipitation, I got soaked. Even so, we had fun.
But, this year we had a great time overall. The weather was mild and nice. A little breezy, but pleasantly so. I lived in Oakland and Berkley for about five years – just ideal weather. 1
One of the fantastic and slightly unfortunate things about the mini and non-mini Maker Faires is that there is so much to see. There’s just no way to see even a large fraction of what people have brought to show off. After having attended two full sized Maker Faires and two mini-Maker Faires, I’ve developed somewhat of a method for experiencing them.
- I accept that I won’t get to see everything. Whether it is one or two days, there will never be enough time to see everything. And, taking into account the whimsical nature of children, we will probably arrive about 3 hours after opening and need to leave 1 hour early.
- The best I can do is check out the list of makers and prioritize just a small few. Of that small list of must-see makers, I separate out those ones that have websites and those that do not. If all else fails, I can always look up those makers who have websites. The best part of seeing a maker’s exhibit is being able to actually talk to them. But, checking out their website is a close second.
- Traversing the paths from one priority maker exhibit to the next, I’m bound to see additional cool makers’ exhibits. I try to take the time to check out their exhibits and locate their contact information. Thankfully, it seems a part of DIY maker culture is to share and document everything about what they do. I like to take a picture of their exhibits, signs, and perhaps one of their brochures, stickers, or cards.
Here’s the only downside from today – the food situation this year was a bit rough. There were a few food carts, but the lines were insane and the food slow. When I heard from one couple that they spent 45 minutes in line and 45 minutes waiting for their food after they ordered, I knew we were in trouble. 2 Even if this couple was exaggerating their wait times by 100%, 45 minutes is a LONG time to wait for food when you’ve got a hungry little one.