Erika Ehmsen

Large-scale art: Just one of the big inspirations you'll find at Maker Faire.

A science fair, a craft fair, and a county fair rolled into a carnival. That’s how founder Dale Dougherty describes Maker Faire Bay Area, which opens the gates this morning for its 10th annual weekend at the San Mateo Event Center.

Sunset (and about 4,000 school kids) got a sneak peek Friday as roughly 1,200 makers—about 50 percent of them new this year—set up for a weekend of both high-tech and low-tech fun, most of it hands-on.

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If you’ve ever tinkered with Radio Shack circuitry, worshipped an Easy Bake Oven, or secretly lusted over a Bedazzler, you’ll love Maker Faire. Always been curious about Burning Man but have a phobia of dust storms? The Playa’s fire-breathing art cars and bike-powered Ferris wheel are here and waiting for you to climb aboard.

Can’t make it? We’ll give you a taste via Periscope, where we’ll be live-broadcasting the best of the 300 talks (like "How To Build a Tiny House in One Week for Less than $10,000"), demonstrations, and performances. Download the Periscope iOS app and follow us: @sunsetmag.

Bring the kids, your R2 unit, and a backpack for all of the gadgets and goodies you’ll make, and get your inner steampunk on the train—Caltrain, as you don’t want to spend the weekend in a logjam on U.S. 101.

Know before you go:

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