For readers in the American Northeast that are looking for something to do this weekend, may we humbly suggest a day trip to attend the 2022 Philadelphia Maker Faire on Saturday, October 15th. After taking the last two years off due to COVID-19, the event has moved to the Independence Seaport Museum for its grand return, and is sure to attract plenty of hackers and makers who are eager to show off their pandemic projects.
Of course, the nature of these events is that you never really know what you’re going to see until you actually get there. But just browsing the list of confirmed projects that will have dedicated tables set up, we can tell there’s some very interesting stuff on tap — from fighting robots and hologram printers, to plasma physics and electric hydrofoils. While the deadline to submit projects for official inclusion has long since passed, we can tell you from experience that’s not going to stop folks from showing up with their own gadgets to show off to the captive audience. Especially if they’re of the wearable variety; it’s not really a Maker Faire unless somebody is wearing something that’s blinking.
Naturally the Faire itself is obviously the main event, but don’t forget that the Independence Seaport Museum itself is worth checking out while you’re there. You can tour the 130-year-old USS Olympia, as well as the USS Becuna, one of the last surviving WWII Balao-class submarines.
While the community might never truly recover from the loss of the flagship Maker Faires in New York and California, we do take some comfort in knowing that smaller regional shows like this one have been growing over the last few several years. They’re not only a great way to connect with like-minded folks in your area, but can help you connect with maker-friendly vendors and organizations which you might otherwise be unaware of.
We don’t have a schedule or full list of what will be on display this far out, but given what we saw during our 2019 visit, we’re confident you’ll get your tickets worth. While we keenly felt the loss of the flagship Maker Faires in California and New York, we can take some solace in the fact that their absence has given these smaller Faires a chance to move in and grow in ways that might not have been possible before.
For those looking to take an active role in what’s often been called the “Greatest Show & Tell on Earth”, organizers will be accepting proposals until September 15th for individuals, groups, and companies that want to share their creations with attendees. Participation is free, so long as you aren’t trying to sell anything, and offers a fantastic way to show off those pandemic projects. That said, proposals aren’t limited to just hardware projects — artwork, live performances, and workshops will also be considered. Basically, if it’s something the STEAM crowd would be interested in checking out, consider it fair game.
If you can spare some time after seeing everything that will be on display at the Maker Faire, the Independence Seaport Museum itself sounds like a pretty fascinating place to check out. Beyond the exhibits and collection of maritime artifacts, the Seaport also offers the chance to take tours aboard a pair of unique vessels: the USS Olympia saw service in the Spanish–American and First World Wars, and USS Becuna is one of only eight surviving WWII Balao-class submarines currently available for public viewing.
Planning on attending the 2022 Philadelphia Maker Faire? Maybe even presenting? Let us know in the comments. Who knows, you might just run into a Hackaday writer in the wild and score yourself some coveted Wrencher stickers.