Written by Emily Hagedorn, The Courier Journal … view full story and video.

Laura Neutz Holmes thinks back on the first NuLu Fest.

It was small with 30 vendors. Rain poured down, ending the event after just six hours.

“And now look at it,” said the NuLu Business Association vice president. “What street fair has a roller coaster in the middle of the street?”

The fifth annual NuLu Fest took over East Market Street Saturday, and this year, it doubled to two blocks — the second of which contained the inaugural Louisville Mini Maker Faire.

And part of the Maker Faire was The Device, which safely propelled riders along rails that curved up into the air.


“It was like pretty fast,” said Noah Rosario, 8, of St. Matthews. “I was pretty excited.”

Maker Faire organizers wanted to do something “to celebrate makers of all kinds,” said co-founder Elizabeth Rounsavall. And they decided to join with NuLu Fest because it’s the official after-party to IdeaFestival and had the experience of running a festival.

And like NuLu Fest — though much quicker — it has surpassed organizers’ expectations. They thought 30 vendors might take part, but in fact, 85 signed on, in addition to the 80 vendors who signed on through NuLu Fest, she said.

“When we first started talking to people, we got a lot of, ‘What is a Maker Faire?’” Rounsavall said. “But it just reached a tipping point of people calling us and saying, ‘I want in.’”

Maker Faires take place around the world and are sponsored by Make magazine, whose founder Dale Dougherty is a Louisville native.

NuLu Fest had food, retail booths and music, including Sam “Shake” Anderson, The Debauchees and The Pass.

More than 10,000 people were expected to attend.

“(The first NuLu Fest) was quaint,” said Joe Phillips, a manager at Cake Flour on East Market, which has been involved in NuLu Fest since the beginning. “It now feels more like an inner-city festival should.”

Schedule of Events!

We’ve collected all the fantastic workshops and other events at the Maker Faire into a single schedule so you can plan your schedule. Subject to change, but this is the best guess for now!

schedule 9.27

Mini Maker Faire rocks the morning shows!

On Tuesday, several of your intrepid organizers and many of our awesome makers got out of bed early to publicize the Louisville Mini Maker Faire on the WDRB and WHAS morning shows.

First, we went down to Market Street at the crack of midnight to hang out with Keith Kaiser of WDRB for a few hours. Turns out he plays the drums and sat in for an impromptu streetside concert with the Smoke Shop Kids, powered by SoularGIG. Then we met Teddie Mower of the Bluegrass Bioneers as well as Hannah and Danielle of the Kentucky Science Center showing off the Makey Makey. (Even Lynn Quire of Good Garbage makes a rare cameo during that last segment!)

Then we hustled across town to WHAS for a segment on Great Day Live. We wanted to pack as many makers as we could into that segment, and boy did we deliver – the producers looked kind of frightened, actually. The station manager tells us that so far it’s the highest rated segment of the week!

Meet all these Makers – and many many more – this Saturday at the Maker Faire!

LMMF Map of Makers!

Here is the map of most* of the fun we’ll be having on Saturday! Plan your visit now.



* Note: Does not include Sullivan College of Technology and Design or Little Loomhouse, both of whom confirmed after the map went to press.

D.I.Y. Louisville Workshop Schedule

We just got D.I.Y. Louisville’s workshop schedule in and we’re pretty excited!

12:00 – 1:15, Paper Flower Craft with Em Dash Designs

1:30 – 2:30 Metal Stamping with D.I.Y. Louisville

2:30 – 3:15 Aluminum Jewelry with D.I.Y. Louisville

3:30 – 4:45 Crafting with Craft E Magee

5:00 – 6:00 Screen Printing Demo with Miss Happy Pink

“Nerdy Derby”: Beg, borrow, or make your racing cars!

Have you ever heard of the Boy Scouts’ Pinewood Derby?

Well – forget it. Well, some of it. Okay – forget most of it!

The “Nerdy Derby” is a no-rules*, anything-goes race of DIY cars on a Pinewood Derby track. We’ll have a “Nerdy Derby” at Mini Maker Faire, in which we’ll be sending vehicles down a Pinewood Derby track. Pretty much anything you can make, that rolls, will qualify.

We mean anything goes!

Image from Discovery News

We want to make sure that everyone knows you can bring a Pinewood Derby or similar sized car or make your own! We will have materials at the Louisville Mini Maker Faire to build your own car, but for that extra special car you may want to get started this weekend.

Tell your friends, parents, former Scout troop members, anyone you think might have something they want to make or race!

For more inspiration, check out and the awesome stuff going on at this weekend’s World Maker Faire in New York.

*OK, there is ONE rule: the cars must fit on the track. The standard gauge is as follows:

Wheel spacing – The spacing in between the wheels shall not be less than 1 ¾” or greater than 2” in width. The outside of one wheel to the outside of the other wheel must be less than 2 3/4″.

Learn 6 Things in 6 Hours with the Library at the Maker Faire

The Louisville Free Public Library will be spending the day with us at the Faire offering a Mini-”How To” festival.

Modeled after their flagship “How To” festival, which promises to teach you “50 Things in 5 Hours”, they’ll be giving different workshops each hour:

12pm: (Paper) Crafty Business: jewelry, freezer stencils and origami boxes – With Stephanie Carter

1pm: Art + button-making = Awesome – With Nicole Dixon

2pm: Getting lost in geocaching – With Mike Ward

3pm: We have lift-off: DIY stomp rockets – With Susan Martinez

4pm: Improve your Mindcraft-Fu – With Eli Sizemore

5pm: Stories to Sing: transforming ordinary picture books into musical adventures – With Lisa Sizemore

We look forward to seeing how many things you can learn!

Flying Machines come to the Maker Faire!

We are going to have a few different flying machines on the 28th! L.E.A.P. Robotics (Lightweight Electronic Aeronautical Project)’s goal is to create the first heavier-than-air controlled flying craft out of purely Lego Mindstorms robotics pieces. It has been called impossible by many. Will they be able to accomplish it? Come down and find out!

In addition, we will have multirotor radio-controlled drones – both quadcopter and hexacopter FPV (first-person view, or camera-controlled). We don’t have pictures of these bad boys yet, but they MIGHT look something like this (courtesy of Flickr user lodefink)


What’s a “Makerspace”?


So, we have some projects from makerspaces, like HIVE13 and LVL1. What’s a makerspace? Also known as a “hackerspace”, they are typically a communal area where members can go to use shared equipment and tools. They can be non-profit cooperatives or for-profit co-working spaces. Typically Makers with other day jobs will congregate there to share projects, brainstorm together, and share their knowledge. Think of it as a YMCA for making stuff.

At the Louisville Mini Maker Faire we will have guests from at least two hackerspaces. LVL1 is Louisville’s hackerspace and have helped organize this Maker Faire. In addition to shared working space and regular meetups, this non-profit cooperative also offers software and hardware classes and occasionally hosts hackathons and other competitions.

This year LVL1 members will be bringing projects including RC Colonel Sanders, Mind over Melon (“Blow up a watermelon… WITH YOUR MIND”), Glowdium, Voxilator, and Butterscotch, the fire-breathing animatronic pony. The University of Louisville Rocketry Team also calls LVL1 home so we’ll have their award-winning rocket from last year’s NASA competition.

We also look forward to sharing projects from Cincinnati’s makerspace HIVE13 (rhymes with the Cincinnati area code 513, get it?) such as Galileo’s Finger and Life.

Finally, the Bosch Power Tool Drag Racing Triple Crown is a project put together by three hackerspaces: LVL1, Cincinnati’s HIVE13, and the Columbus Idea Foundry. All three cities will host races and we expect some racers from other cities at our Faire. The drag racing setup (control panel, “Christmas Tree” countdown lights, and track) has been made by participants at all three hackerspaces and will travel from Louisville to Maker Faires at Columbus and Cincinnati after our Faire.

For more information on how to get involved in LVL1, the Louisville makerspace, check out their website or ask them about it at the Maker Faire.

Power Tool Drag Racing – Call for Entries & Rules

As we’ve hinted before, the first leg of the first annual Triple Crown of Tool Racing will take place at the Louisville Mini Maker Faire.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 10.58.35 PM

Everyone’s invited to build your own racer and come on down and race! In fact, why not download the poster and send it around as a challenge to your friends.

Here’s a good introductory primer from MAKE:

Now, the fine print and rules.


Eligible machines are single engine power tools with limited motor and gearing modifications. Power sources must be stock 110V provided for the tool. See rules at the end of this post for additional information.

The Track

The drag strip is 75′ of reasonably flat plywood track. There will be another 20′ or so to slow down with added semisoft material (typically hay bales) to help with the deceleration of the faster entries. Racers will run on parallel wood tracks 1′ wide with 2″ X 4″ rails on either side. We will make every effort to maintain the straightness and accuracy of this track, but expect some variation and bumps at the joints.


Custom-built trophies and prize packs from Bosch will be awarded for Overall Speed Champion, Most Creative Design and Crowd Favorite. Additional prizes awarded (at discretion of race officials) may include slowest, ugliest and/or best wreck.

Race Day

The fourth annual Tool Races will be part of the inaugural Louisville Mini Maker Faire – an all day event to MAKE, create, learn, invent, CRAFT, recycle, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology.

When: Sept. 28th, 2013
Where: 800 block of East Market Street (at Campbell)
Race Times: Official races start at 2pm
Registration and entry fee at trackside


Machines are to be based on handheld power tools. A handheld power tool is a machine intended for handheld operation by one individual. A machine primarily used on a stationary mount, or rolled on wheels, or used by a group of people is not a hand tool for the purposes of this event. This event is limited to hand tools powered by standard 40 amp 120 AC electric power cords. Examples of hand tools are machines like belt sanders, angle grinders, circular saws, drills, chainsaws, weed wackers, vibrators, etc. Examples of things that are NOT hand tools are things like lawnmowers, floor sanders, generators, bench grinders, etc. No vehicles built from RC cars allowed, because they are boring.

AC electrical cords will be 100′ long per lane, originating at the starting line. They will have standard Edison 3-prong connectors. You will be responsible for “coiling” the cord on the ground or laying it alongside the track for your run. No spools or cord guides allowed, but duct tape will be provided so you can tape the connector together. Tangles or poor cord feed are your responsibility.

Eligible machines are single engine power tools with no motor modifications or non-standard power sources (i.e. engine and power source needs to be box stock). Propulsion can be direct drive to track via the original blades, belts, etc, or via a custom gear/chain/tire configurations. Frames, wheels, guide rails, etc can be added as desired. Any motor or power type is allowed. But all “motors” must have originated in a hand power tool and be in their original form, with original power source driving it.

Due to the nature of the event these machines can be very fast and very dangerous. ALL entries for any class MUST REGISTER their machine and be inspected prior to racing to make sure they will stay on the track and out of the audience. We also reserve the right to say “no, unsafe” at any time for whatever reason(s) we find relevant.