The 2012 Downtown Farmington Founders Festival kicks off today, with pre-glow events starting at 5 p.m. This three-day festival is bursting with activities, music, craft booths and more – so we've compiled a guide to help you plan before you head out.
This low-key tent, located behind the Village Mall just south of Grand River and Farmington Rd., features a music line-up that includes Vinyl Misst (1960s art rock), The Paisley Fogg (British Invasion and 1960s rock), The Sheila Landis Trio (jazz), The Fun Guys (classic rock), Metro Jazz Voices and Twistin' Tarantulas (rock-a-billy).
Music will be going continuously while the venue is open, from 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Food items are $5, and there is a cover charge, with funds going to the City of Farmington Hills after-school program. Learn more at alleyregalley.biz.
The Farmington High School Music Patrons Bingo tent is located in the Farmington Insurance Agency parking lot at 33215 Grand River. Play Thursday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Friday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. and Saturday, 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday night is Alumni Night, and there will be free kids' bingo (under age 18) on Friday, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
The parade, featuring more than 80 units, steps off at 9:40 a.m. Saturday on Grand River at Power Rd. and ends at Liberty St. at around noon. Grand River closes at 8:45 a.m.; Shiawassee provides an alternate route parallel to Grand River.
This year's parade theme is "Winter Wonderland", because funds collected from parade applications and a portion of Walker's Tavern proceeds will go to purchase new seasonal decorations for the downtown area. Grand marshall this year is long-time local restarauteur John Ginopolis.
Look for a "growers only" market Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., in the Downtown Farmington Center lot west of the pavilion and south of .
- Preglow Thursday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
For the kids
The Meijer Go Playground is in a different location this year, moving to the . There will be a Healthy Living Kids tent, live raptor shows, a caricaturist, face painting, henna tattoos, mobile gaming and more.
The Meijer Family Stage, located in Riley Park, will host entertainment from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. These shows are all free:
- Magician and comedian Chris Linn - Friday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Earth Angels dance troupe - Friday, 11 a.m. and Saturday, 12 p.m.
- The Merry Music Maker interactive musical program - Friday, 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
- singing competition - Friday, 6 p.m.
- demo - Friday, 8:15 p.m.
- - Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
- Cirque Amongus circus acts and comedy - Saturday, 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.
- Magician Gordon Russ - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Founders Festival Run
The Downtown Farmington Founders Festival 4 Mile Run starts Saturday, 9 a.m., in Shiawassee Park. Participants run from Shiawassee and Power through downtown Farmington, to the applause of parade-goers. Awards are presented for overall and master for both male and female, as well as top three finishers in each age category. Registration is $25 on race day.
Stop by Memorial Park and meet vendors who offer environmentally friendly products, organic food, produce, beauty products and pet treats. is offering Friday evening and Saturday. Call 248-474-6880 to reserve a spot.
Children's activities on Friday include a petting zoo, pony rides and Farmington Public Safety vehicles on site. Saturday brings a story teller, flea market and Miss Farmington Elena Pavlicas and her court leading Victorian games. You can also tour the Mansion both days. (Read a full list of activities in "".)
Representing local historical organizations, the History Booth is located on Grand River, on the lawn in front of city hall. Local historian Brian Golden will give tours Saturday, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m., in an air-conditoned bus provided by .
You'll find general information about the festival at foundersfestival.com. Information booths will be set up near Farmington and State, near Walker's Tavern and on the north side of Grand River, east of Farmington Rd.
on Grand River hosts this event Saturday, 12 p.m.-3 p.m. The church will also offer ice cream socials on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, a pie baking contest Thursday evening and a presentation, “India in Pictures,” from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Look for crafters on the church lawn.
A craft show and the Michigan Masonic Child ID program run Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. at the , Farmington and Grand River. The Mason’s Corner offers tasty treats such as barbeque, popcorn, snow cones and more.
Movie Under the Stars
Head over to on Friday, 9:30 p.m., to enjoy fresh popped popcorn as you watch Dolphin Tale on Farmington’s big outdoor screen. Bring a blanket or chair; there's no charge.
Parking will be limited in downtown Farmington. Shuttle service is available from satellite parking lots at and . A full shuttle schedule is available on the Farmington Downtown Development Authority website. Handicapped parking is available at , 33424 Oakland.
Patch at the Festival
Look for us in a tent next to the History Booth on Grand River in front of city hall. Meet local editor Joni Hubred-Golden, learn how to upload photos or to post an event, suggest a story idea, ask about advertising or sign up for our free email newsletter. And we'll have plenty of Patch swag to give away!
- Downtown Farmington Center lot - midnight Wednesday-Sunday evening
- Farmington Road, Grand River to just south of CVS Pharmacy - 11:30 a.m. Thursday-Sunday evening
- Grand River, Power Rd. to Liberty St. - Saturday, 8:45 a.m. to around noon
Walker's Tavern (beer tent)
With doors open at 5 p.m. in the Downtown Farmington Center lot, this popular spot is open to those ages 21 and over. There's a $5 cover charge for these Walker's Tavern concerts, held from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. all three nights:
- Thursday - That 80’s Band's stage show includes a one-of-a-kind '80s classic video collection with restored digital audio, lasers, intelligent lighting and all your favorite hits performed with authentic '80s sounds and attire.
- Friday - Fifty Amp Fuse, a live multimedia spectacular and international favorite, celebrates six decades of American and British pop/rock hits.
- Saturday - Killer Flamingos, a band popular with local crowds, will perform an infectious blend of pop, rock and electronica.