Festival to award $10,000 in prizes to makers of all ages

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the West Virginia Makes Festival, the Marshall Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMC) is offering $10,000 in cash prizes to winners of this year’s Design Challenge.

Artisans, inventors, manufacturers, students and makers of all kinds are encouraged to enter their creations by participating in the Oct. 6 festival on the Huntington campus of Marshall University, said Kara Mullins, Makes Festival coordinator.

“We want to make this year’s festival the biggest and best yet,” Mullins said. “To encourage more participation from across West Virginia and beyond, we’re offering the largest prize cache ever. People of all ages are eligible to compete for a share of the money.”

Multiple prizes will be awarded in adult and youth categories, including a $5,000 cash award to the adult champion, $1,000 to the youth champion and $500 to the People’s Choice winner, as voted on by festivalgoers.

“This is a celebration of creativity and ingenuity in all forms,” Mullins said. “That why we encourage makers of all ages, from elementary school-age children to retired adults to demonstrate their creations, whatever they are.”

This year, West Virginia’s largest maker fair coincides with National Manufacturing Day. Mullins urged manufacturers of all types to participate in the festival to represent the state’s rich history of manufacturing.

“There are a variety of ways to participate in the Makes Festival,” Mullins explained. “In addition to the Design Challenge, individuals can demonstrate their creations, register as exhibitors and offer information about how they support makers, provide making activities or games, or attend as a school or other group. We want everyone who can come to join us and enjoy all the festival has to offer, from hands-on making activities, virtual reality and robotics to music and even a splat-tacular pumpkin drop presented by the June Harless Center at Marshall University!”

There is no cost to participate in the festival but Design Challengers, exhibitors and groups are asked to register at www.mfg.marshall.edu/wvmf2023. Design challengers and other makers are welcome to sell their creations during the event.

The 10th anniversary Makes Festival is made possible through the generous financial support of title sponsor West Virginia American Water. For more information, contact Mullins at or 304-781-1624.

Aug. 28, 2023

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