“Main Street Enid is taking the maker concept and creating a Maker Trail with opportunities to explore, create and discover at various marker stations around downtown Enid during First Friday this October. The stations include art, circuits, music, physics, robotics and straw domes,” a Main Street Enid press release said.

The Maker Trail, open for all ages, will be free to the public during its time at First Friday. Main Street Enid Director Kelly Tompkins said the organization has formed a core group to decide on what the different maker stations will be, plus the “Big Build” for the trail.

Two stations will be available as a “light version” during September’s First Friday, with the full six-station and big build at the October First Friday.

Recently, Main Street Enid’s Maker Trail project was one of 10 projects selected nationally to receive a $2,500 matching grant in a placemaking challenge. Main Street Enid’s fundraising goal is $5,000 in donations and sponsorships by July 31 so they can earn the $2,500 in matching funds.

Funds raised for the project will go towards tools, kits electronic components and other materials needed for the various stations on the Maker Trail.

Main Street Enid is also seeking people “who make things” to set up on the courthouse lawn during the October First Friday.

“Most of us make something, and they would like to highlight creativity and innovation in Enid,” the press release said.

Enid Regional Development Alliance recently became an apprentice sponsor for the project, contributing $500.

“It’s going to give another interactive exhibit and things for people to do while they’re there,” ERDA Associate Director Lisa Powell said. “This Maker Trail and the stations that Main Street has planned are designed to spur creativity and provide people with hands on problem solving and learning opportunities.”

Tompkins said the idea for a Maker Trail found its roots while Main Street Enid was brainstorming ideas for creating a “creative hub for teens, where they would have materials available to discover and make things” as well as a desire to add more to First Fridays.

“There are usually over 30 places to enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment with several live music locations, and we want to create activities to get people out to the ‘arms and legs’ of the square since First Fridays have grown so much. Since this is the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail, it just all came together,” Tompkins said.

Having a Maker Trail with stations downtown at First Friday will add things to do, draw more people to Enid’s historical district, bring more attention to unique businesses and connect organizations with more people in the community, Tompkins said.

“I’m personally looking forward to seeing people discover how things work, watching imaginations spark, and finding out the community’s interest in continuing or expanding on the concept,” Tompkins said. “As a lifelong maker, I also want others to experience the joy of creating things. Most of us make something, whether it’s art, circuit boards, buildings, poetry or pies and it takes all of our talents and knowledge to make great things happen.

Donations for the Maker Trail project can be made at www.ioby.org/project/maker-trail. The fundraiser says $3,310 has been raised so far, with another $4,450 needed.

Story by:  Enid News & Eagle