The North Carolina Lego Users Group once again brought creativity, fun and bins full of bricks to the Triangle.
Saturday kicked off the group’s 12th annual Lego-palooza at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, where members set up elaborate Lego displays free for the public to enjoy.
“The mission is just to promote the creativity and imagination of the Lego brick,” said Joe Evangelista, a member of the Lego group since 2005 who helped organize the event, which will continue on Sunday.
Organizers expect to receive more than 1,000 visitors during the two-day event. Within half an hour of Lego-palooza’s start, there was a line to get in the door.
“For me the most rewarding part is seeing everyone’s reaction,” said Evangelista. “That moment when the kids want to go back home and just start building and creating.”
In addition to spectacular displays, the event includes film screenings and areas for children to play with Lego bricks or make paper sculptures to take home.
Four-year-old Hudson Hall looked around the room in awe at the trains, spaceships and cartoon characters.
“He’s just really getting into Legos now,” said his father, Damian Hall. “He’s seen The Lego Movie at least a dozen times now.”
But Lego-palooza is not just for kids.
“It’s fun to see some of the old Lego sets that people saved from when I was a kid,” Hall said.
Lego artist Doug Eaton said mostly adults are interested in his Lego murals, which depict famous works of art such as Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”
Nancy Scheuerle, who started the world’s first Lego camp in Davidson, encouraged people of all ages and all genders to get involved with Lego. She said it’s a great way to bring families together and teach kids spatial skills, imagination and collaboration.
“A lot of our alumni from camp go into aerospace engineering and end up going to schools like MIT and Georgia Tech,” Scheuerle said.
Scheuerle said Lego is not just for boys — her company Live2Build runs camps specifically designed for girls.
For those who cannot get enough Lego, the BrickUniverse convention will return to Raleigh on April 2 and 3. The planetarium also offers Lego-themed science camps throughout the summer.
If you go
LEGO-palooza continues 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, 250 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill.