From Shuttered Textile Mill To Haven For Makers

Maker News
From Shuttered Textile Mill To Haven For Makers

The textile mills of Biddeford, Maine were once the economic center of the area, employing over 3,000 people from 26 countries. In the 1980s, as in many industrial towns in America, the mills began to close and the jobs that went with them went away, leading to decades of economic decline and attrition in Biddeford. Starting in the mid-2000s, however, something kind of cool began to happen – those former textile mills began to make a comeback, becoming home to modern textile companies, glass blowers, beer brewers, gin distillers, coffee roasters, circus performers, and artists of all stripes. It’s what we like to call “the Biddeaissance.”

And it’s in this space that the first-ever York County Mini Maker Faire will take place.

From Kittery to Cornish, from Acton to Old Orchard Beach, York County is replete with makers. Nearly 70 of them are coming to Biddeford to share what they do and how they do it. They will showcase their innovative nature and new products, and inspire and educate our community about the amazing makers who live and work in southern Maine. For a behind-the-scenes look at the Mills and the downtown – historically and in the present – we’ve got the Biddeford Mills Museum giving historic mill tours, an architectural tour of Biddeford’s Downtown Historic District led by Heart of Biddeford, as well as tours of Banded Brewing Co. with brewer Ian McConnell.

The York County Mini Maker Faire is spearheaded by local non-profit Engine, in keeping with its mission of connecting and inspiring our community through art, design, and education. Engine envisions a community and economy in which art, design, and education are valued, integrated, and celebrated. Through producing the inaugural Maker Faire in York County, Engine shines a light on and celebrates the makers, businesses and people, who are leading the charge of the economic redevelopment of Biddeford’s downtown.

The York County Mini Maker Faire takes place on Saturday October 13th from 10AM to 5PM in the historic Pepperell Mill Campus second floor event hall. Enter through the main doors next to Portland Pie. There is a set of stairs and a passenger elevator just inside the main entrance.

Get your FREE tickets here.

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