Artists, craftsmen, engineers, scientists and people who just like making stuff will come together for the Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire on June 8 in Port Jeff.
The fair is hosted by the Long Island Explorium.
The Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire is part of an international collective that highlights local maker culture — people who like to tinker and build anything from boats to costumes to furniture.
It’s like a science fair, but with a lot more flash and fun.
scroll down for 2018 photos
“There’s something for everybody,” said Sally Wellinger, who’s co-producing this year’s event. “Whatever your interest is, there will be makers who will spark your interest.”
Wellinger started volunteering for the event but quickly rose in the ranks. Last year she helped organize the talent for the fair. This year she’s one of the people charged with its success.
The Mini Maker Faire is a maker project in and of itself, which requires pulling together an assortment of Long Island’s geeks, techies, scientists, do-it-yourselfers and cosplayers into a cohesive whole.
Vendors will sell goods while demonstrating their crafts, and others will put on exhibitions and live shows. Although vendors will be selling their wares, this is not your typical craft fair.
The organizers call it “the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth.”
The idea is not only to showcase talented local makers but to inspire the maker inside us all.
It’s also about solving problems.
“At the heart of the Maker Movement is the understanding that making is uniquely human,” the official Maker website says. The fairs were started when Make: Magazine launched as a DIY bible for tech projects and began hosting the events.
The first one was held in 2006 near San Francisco.
“It started out with people who were into tech and computers,” explained Wellinger, a self-described geek for everything maker. “Then tech got cool. Well, it was always cool.”
The areas around and between the Long Island Explorium on East Broadway and the Villager Center in Harborfront Park will be the grounds for the event.
Wellinger says things will happen inside and out, rain or shine. Tickets can be purchased through the organization’s website or at the door.
“It’s about networking and connecting,” said Wellinger “It’s exciting to be around and meet so many cool people. You have scientists talking to engineers talking to artists.”
She described the type of person who is a maker as someone doing something interesting they want to share with others.
“People who have a passion.”
Last year, the youngest maker was 7 and the oldest was 79.
It’s not lost on the organizers that Port Jefferson is probably an early inspiration for DIY makers because of its history steeped ship making.
“We try to keep it authentic to our community and the harbor with Port Jefferson being a port community and has a history of shipbuilding,” Wellinger said.
The fair will indeed incorporate nautical themes.
Marine biologists will be on hand, including Oceanswide and its underwater ROV, a remote-controlled rover just like the ones seen exploring the Titanic on film. Boatbuilders out of the Bayles Boat Shop will also be demonstrating their skills.
The focus is to balance as many of the STEAM vocations in this event as possible. STEAM is an educational movement that stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
“We pull all of those great minds together,” she said. “That’s what makes it different. We have such a wide spectrum of makers.”
Local business will be there too.
“So people on Long Island can see what’s going on in our own backyard.”
A list of interactive performances that day include Ryu Shu Taiko Drums, the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra, and “That Physics Show” from NYC. And the Long Island Ghostbusters are going to make an appearance.
A bus transformed into a tiny home on wheels called a skoolie will be there as well.
There will even be a contortionist performing an Avengers: Endgame act.
“There’s something for everybody,” said Wellinger.
Visit the website to learn more and to buy tickets.