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TinkerFair offers hands-on creative experiences in Longmont this weekend – Boulder Daily Camera

John Toohey, 8, makes a butterfly with help from Jeanine Brunetti’s TinkerMill Makerspace in Longmont in July 2023. (Times-Call archive photo)

At this year’s TinkerFair, the TinkerMill makerspace in Longmont wants to offer the community a glimpse into the work of local creatives in their element.

Saturday marks TinkerMill’s largest annual fundraiser, with demos and activities ranging from woodworking to laser cutting to pottery being offered in all of the makerspace’s shops. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at TinkerMill, 1840 Delaware Place.

“It’s a wonderful day to show people what we do,” said Erin Hoard, CEO of TinkerMill. “We just love having people come see us.”

This year’s fair is different from previous versions of the event, which all revolved around a carnival theme. While there will still be some outdoor festival elements, including a plunge pool, Hoard explained that the roughly 350 guests who attended last year were more interested in checking out TinkerMill’s equipment and shops.

“This year we’re really trying to focus on what we do best, which is a makerspace,” she said.

There will be at least one person stationed in each store throughout the day to explain what can be made with the resources and materials.

“We’ve only ever done a few stores at a time,” Hoard said. “This is definitely more ‘all hands on deck’ because every store is involved.”

Guests can explore the makerspace and view shop demos for free, but certain activities require tickets, which can be purchased at the entrance. New activities this year include tie-dyeing t-shirts and, for kids, building cardboard forts. As in previous years, TinkerMill members will also be selling their creations on-site.

There will also be business-specific fundraisers at the various stations on Saturday. Hoard said guests can choose which businesses they would like to support financially; for example, the stained glass shop will raise money for a new ring cutter, while the wood shop will sell tools to help afford a new guide saw.

Hoard said TinkerFair provides an accessible way for people to learn about the makerspace, regardless of their skill level.

“You can make a weld on the spot for $5 and take it home,” she said. “I think it’s really cool to be able to go home with a project that you made yourself in a medium that you didn’t know before.”

For more information about TinkerFair, visit tinkermill.org.