New North Kitsap festival is an ode to tinkerers

The Kitsap MiniMaker Faire will showcase re-purposed creations, like this metal sculpture by Dennis Kommer at North Kitsap Metal Recycling. - Tad Sooter/Staff Photo
The Kitsap MiniMaker Faire will showcase re-purposed creations, like this metal sculpture by Dennis Kommer at North Kitsap Metal Recycling.
— image credit: Tad Sooter/Staff Photo

POULSBO — Bicycle builders will appreciate the Kitsap MiniMaker Faire.

Then again, so will knitters, beekeepers and Segway enthusiasts.

“When’s the last time you went to a festival and there was a Segway obstacle course?” said Beth Kommer of North Kitsap Metal Recycling, a sponsor and participant in the festival. “You don’t see things like that.”

Gyroscopic  scooters  will  be  just  one

of the attractions of the inaugural festival, which takes over the grounds of the Poulsbo Seventh-Day Adventist School, 1700 NE Lincoln Road, Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nearly 60 exhibitors and vendors will share their talents.

They include farmers, woodshop workers, robot engineers and “foodies,” from Kitsap County and beyond.

Creativity is the thread that ties them together, said TJ McCue, one of the events organizers. The festival is meant to encourage homegrown ingenuity.

“Ultimately, Kitsap Maker is about making things, building things and drawing that community together here on the Kitsap,” McCue said in an email. “For us as a group, we want to celebrate the makers and bring them together so that the community can see how many amazing people we have making things locally.”

The festival itself was an idea assembled by friends.

A year ago, McCue and the Rexin family attended a Maker Faire in California. The celebration of home invention inspired them to create something similar, albeit smaller, in Kitsap.

“At  first it was a crazy idea, but it became a reality as time went on,” said Caleb Rexin, who helped organize the festival with fellow teen Summer Thresher. “After it gained momentum, people started coming out of the woodwork.”

Sunday’s festival includes activities for kids, dozens of demonstrations and food. Hansville Creamery will bring goats, wool and milk. A Seattle inventor will bring his 3D printer, a machine that renders designs in plastic.

Several booths are dedicated to fixing things at home. Bicycle technicians will help with tune ups and lubes, and attendees can check out a four-seat mountain bike and a compete in a flat tire mending competition. Sewers in the Patch Room will darn donated clothing. A computer-controlled knitting machine will also be on display. Kids can take part in wooden spool racing and be entertained by Tim Lowell, the “Art and Science Guy.”

If all goes well, the Kitsap Maker founders will organize the event again next year. But more than that, they’d like to inspire more home experimenters.

“We want to help the community be more creative and collaborate,” Caleb said.


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