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Lego festival set for Raleigh in May

A major Lego festival, bringing in Lego lovers from around the country, is set for Mother's Day weekend.

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BrickMagic Festival for Lego Lovers
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

Triangle Lego lovers are organizing a big festival of Legos for Mother's Day weekend.

The BrickMagic Festival for Lego Fans runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 9 at the Hilton North Raleigh on Wake Forest Road. The festival will bring in professional Lego builder Nathan Sawaya; a hall filled with custom Lego creations made by adult Lego fans from around the country; workshops on building techniques; animated Lego films; and a robotics competition.

Joe Meno, an organizer and founder of the Raleigh-based magazine Brick Journal, said the idea came to local fans after seeing other conventions around the country. They figured the Triangle was ready for the next level with the opening of the Lego store at Crabtree Valley Mall and the activity of local Lego groups, comprised mostly of adults who love all things Lego.

"It just seemed to be the logical step up," Meno told me.

The festival is bringing in some big names in the Lego world, including Sawaya, who is a Lego certified professional. He helped build the Lego creations for the Extreme Home Makeover house in Raleigh a few years ago.
There also will be an eight-foot-long detailed recreation of the USS Missouri; a working robotic Lego Wall-E based on the Disney/Pixar film character; an intricate Lego cityscape complete with a functioning train system; a 20-foot-long Lego drag strip; and Lego recreations of scenes from Harry Potter books and films. And there's still time to enter a Lego car contest for kids.

A vendor area will feature old Lego sets you can't find anymore, individual parts and custom parts. And this was something that I didn't know ... Meno said that Lego doesn't make certain things such as weapons. So some Lego lovers make their own and sell them.

So if you're looking for the Lego version of an Uzi submachine gun ...

"We will have the people who sell those," Meno said. "And if you want a blue deer, we can probably help you out there too."

On May 5, organizers also will hold a BrickFlix Film Festival, featuring animated brick films and other Lego-themed shorts, at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Showings are at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., but note the age recommendation for the 9 p.m. showing is for kids ages 16 and up.

Tickets to the film festival are $4.75 a piece.

Tickets to the BrickMagic festival in Raleigh are $12 for adults and $8 for kids ages 4 to 16 and seniors. Kids 3 and under are free. Moms get in free on Mother's Day with a paying child or spouse. There's a $1 discount for each ticket pre-ordered online. The event is also donating $1 for each student from participating area schools who attends. The money will be paid directly to their school's PTA.

And for $6, your kids can make you a Lego rose for Mother's Day.

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