It was love at first Lego for Harry Nijenkamp.
As a child growing up in Holland, Nijenkamp was playing at a neighbor’s house when one day he was introduced to Lego bricks. About 5 years old at the time, he picked up colorful little bricks in red, blue, green and yellow and created small houses, simple cars, boats, airplanes. He turned those interlocking toy pieces into anything he put his young mind to. He loved it.
Alas, as a teenager, he, like many boys his age, stopped playing with Legos.
But a couple of decades later, after his son, Austin, was born, Nijenkamp’s affinity for the snap-together plastic bricks was renewed. With his son taking an immediate liking to Legos, things, he said, “got out of control.”
On Friday and Saturday, a father-and-son-designed giant cityscape, brought to life with 400,000 Lego bricks, will be on display in the lobby at the Aurora Cineplex in Roswell. It will be open to the public for free from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
This Lego city, with towering buildings (one reaching 13 feet) and dotted with neighborhood parks with lampposts and fountains, and monkeys hanging from trees, is part of a weekend of Lego festivities.
That includes the Lego KidsFest, a giant traveling Lego expo at Cobb Galleria, expected to draw as many as 27,000 Lego lovers this weekend. This hands-on extravaganza, traveling the country and stopping in metro Atlanta for this first time, boasts millions of Lego bricks, not to mention construction zones and Lego games. One game involves a race ramp with Lego enthusiasts building custom cars and then racing their cars against each other down the ramp. (Tickets are $22 for adults; $20 for kids ages 3-17; free for kids 2 and under.)
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