RidgeFest Returns to Celebrate Community, Elevate Makers

Jeremy Schwartz

On June 18, The Green on 38th will once again be filled with families, local businesses, live music and more with the return of RidgeFest, a free event highlighting the unique character and culture of Wheat Ridge.

Alongside RidgeFest staples that include music, food, drinks and entertainment, this year’s RidgeFest will feature the inaugural Wheat Ridge Maker Faire. Part science fair, part county fair, and part entirely something new, Maker Faire is a global initiative to showcase makers who are exploring unique forms and technologies.

Localworks is producing the event in collaboration with Ridge at 38.

Wheat Ridge has a long history of fostering a community of creators. From farmers to sculptors and everything in between, RidgeFest will be a celebration of community with a focus on growing our reputation as a place for makers. 

Maker Faire participants are expected to include tech enthusiasts, crafters, scientists, garage tinkerers and artists. Makers will have the opportunity to showcase their craft and offer demonstrations and hands-on activities to engage attendees.

The event is part of a larger effort by Localworks to create a permanent Makerspace in Wheat Ridge, where the community can come together for hands-on learning, to explore new tools and technologies, and to share ideas. For nearly a year, community volunteers have been working to prototype the Makerspace, which is located at the Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church. 

The Makerspace features sewing machines, 3D printers, a laser cutter, woodworking tools, and more. The initiative was sparked in part by a gift from Milly Nadler who, in memory of her late husband Peter Marks, donated a variety of welding, woodworking, ceramics and other tools. Localworks’ long-term goal is to identify a larger, permanent location that can house all of these tools and serve as a space for learning and collaboration.

Through community build nights and regular open hours, and the commitment of a dedicated group of volunteers, creativity and the maker community are starting to come to life in the Makerspace. RidgeFest and the Wheat Ridge Maker Faire will be an excellent opportunity to further our efforts to establish Wheat Ridge as the community for makers in metro Denver.

RidgeFest will also feature live music from Swallow Hill Music, several food trucks, beer tasting – including the return of RidgeFest Red from Colorado Plus – and a vibrant kids’ zone. The full line-up of activities will be available in late May. 

RidgeFest will take place on Saturday, June 18 from 2 to 8 p.m. at 7101 W. 38th Ave. Limited sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available. For more information about RidgeFest, the Wheat Ridge Maker Faire and Makerspace, visit wearelocalworks.org.

Jeremy Schwartz is the interim executive director of Localworks.

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