They made it count.
Creativity. Experimentation. Ingenuity. FUN!
Approximately 70 creators from across the region shared the fruits of their creative gifts, gadgets and ideas. Thousands of visitors strolled around the big tent on Jesup Green and throughout the library's main floor to see and experience remarkable examples of what an individual can "make" when they set their mind to it.
"It's great," said Maxine Bleiweis, library director. She lauded the "entrepreneurial spirit" of the many inventors and creators, whose ages ran the gamut.
"A public library is a perfect forum," she said, because one of its missions is to bring people together to "learn together in a community."
"It's a dream come true," said Mark Mathias, founder and co-chairman of the event. He said between 3,000 and 4,000 were expected to visit. "Last year we planned for 800," he said, but were thrilled when about 2,200 turned out.
"I think we have a good mix this year of people who've returned and people who are new," he said.
The Makers Movement showcase ranged from "old-world" creative activities, such as radio repair and blacksmithing, to hi-tech work with 3-D printers and robotics. In between were artists, craftspeople and inventors of all varieties, all eager to share what the do and make with visitors.
"You show what you make and people come and appreciate it," said Balem Soto of Hartford, who created an EXP instrument that offered a means of playing electronic sounds with rubbing and tapping conductors.
"I'm an artist and I use technology as my medium," he said.
Alan Winick of Westport brought the small submarine he built "It took about a year and half to build," he said. "I've dreamed of doing it since I was 12 ... It's never too late. I built this when I was 40."
An inventor and director of education at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, Winick said he hopes the sub serves as a lesson for children.
"I like to make sure that kids understand that, even though they have dreams they can't accomplish as kids, they should stick to it, stick to their passions," he said. "I believe that the most important contribution this submarine makes."
Bill Derry, faire co-chairman and the library's assistant director, was pleased with the turnout for the event.
"I'm just amazed at the diversity of the audience," he said. "It's going very well ... It's nice to see the library perceived in a new way."
"I think it's amazing," said Jacob Haigh, 13, of Mamaroneck, N.Y.
"You have both ends of the spectrum," he said. "You have blacksmithing, which is very primitive, and then you have 3-D printing, which could put us all out of a job."
"It's phenomenal," said his mother, Ilene Haigh. "I've never seen anything like this."