See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Dragon quest! 

A 64-foot-long, fire-breathing dragon is just one of the draws at Maker Faire.

click to enlarge 1524747.jpg

This week, visitors to Maker Faire in Dearborn will be able to witness an 8-ton fire-breathing dragon. The beast is 22-1/2 feet tall and more than 60 feet long. It’s an “art car,” built onto the frame of an old Dodge W-300 Power Wagon with a 318 engine. There’s a 1,500-pound second-story DJ booth encased in steel wicker, mounted on a Marine Zodiac attack boat under the monster’s spine. The whole contraption can carry more than a dozen riders, with seats in the mouth and in a party couch on the back, where riders can make the tail sway back and forth. Hydraulic systems bring the front of it to life, and the driver can use a fire system to shoot flames from the fearsome creature’s mouth.

The creation, called Gon Kirin, is the work of artist and fabricator Ryan C. Doyle and artist Teddy Lo. It was featured on the cover of Metro Times a few years ago, when Doyle and company first chose Detroit as their home base. It was a big hit at last year’s Maker Faire, and this July 27-28, the dragon will return to the fair, held on the grounds of Dearborn’s Henry Ford, for a third and final appearance.

But Gon Kirin is just one of the spectacles at Maker Faire Detroit, which have included a moped racing course, a home-made windmill that produces electricity, a life-size version of the game Mouse Trap, as well as thousands of other, smaller artistic contributions from tech geeks to crafters on display throughout the event. The theme, roughly stated, is “making stuff,” and a surprisingly broad group of people fall under that category from fabricators and welders to knitters and woodworkers, some more irreverent than others. Not all of the items on display will be massive or pretentious, and quite a few will be for sale, so come with a bit of shopping cash to gather some of the most unusual gifts you’ll find.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit