Celebrate summer right in your backyard

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published May 31, 2017

 Eban Woelemer, of Farmington Hills, tries on hats during a past Art on the Grand event.

Eban Woelemer, of Farmington Hills, tries on hats during a past Art on the Grand event.

File photo by Donna Agusti

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — The weekend of June 3-4 is going to be a busy one in Farmington and Farmington Hills with the return of Art on the Grand and the Great Farmington Hills Campout. 

Getting artsy
Over 100 artists from throughout the country will come to Farmington to showcase their artwork during the city’s eighth annual juried fine arts fair, Art on the Grand.

The event on Grand River Avenue is presented by the Farmington Hills Special Services Department’s Cultural Arts Division in partnership with the Farmington Downtown Development Authority. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 3 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 4. There is no admission fee.

Various art forms represented will include jewelry, mixed media, pottery, wood, sculptures and more.

Rachel Timlin, cultural arts supervisor for the Farmington Hills Special Services Department, said in an email that she believes part of what makes the event a success is its size.

“With 100 artists, it’s large enough to include a great variety of work, but it’s not overwhelming or saturated with similar types or styles of art,” she said. “The event organizers and jurors believe strongly in the integrity of the fair. So all the artwork is handcrafted by the artists; factory-produced items are not allowed. ... Art on the Grand maintains its authenticity by keeping the primary focus on the art and artists.”

New to this year’s event is the Kids Art Alley, which will feature over 20 local artists in third through 12th grades. The artists will be available to discuss their work during the event.

For more information, go to www.artonthegrand.com/kids-activities.

Cultural Arts Programmer Staci Hayman said in an email that the event’s new website, artonthegrand.com, allows attendees to see all of the 2017 artists, download the artist guide and see the weekend’s activities.

Hayman said that as an art fair coordinator, she looks forward to seeing all of the elements that have been worked on for the past year come together. 

“Some of the highlights that I look forward to include meeting the new exhibiting artists, welcoming back returning artists, and seeing the enjoyment in our guests’ faces as they explore the booths,” Hayman said.

The Detroit Institute of Arts will offer a free make-and-take activity for kids in the Kid Zone section of the fair, which includes a rock climbing wall, bungee jumping and other activities for a fee.

Let’s go camping
Let the outdoors be your living room this weekend during the Great Farmington Hills Campout June 3-4.

Families can partake in nature center tours, trail hikes and free time, according to a press release. Once tents are set up — anytime after 1 p.m. June 3 — families may enjoy events 4-9 p.m. that day.

Participants may also choose to camp in Heritage Park or in their own backyard.

Tickets for Heritage Park camping — while available — cost $25 for residents and $30 for nonresidents, and they include a family campsite with one tent, dinner for up to six campers and a pancake breakfast, according to the press release.

The 11th annual event will feature campfire songs, hot dogs, s’mores and more.

Special Services Deputy Director Bryan Farmer said recently that the event was made with kids in mind.

“It is really giving kids the opportunity to experience camping, and what we found over the last 11 years is people get into camping because they agree to try it, and they realized it is pretty cool and started going to actual campgrounds,” Farmer said.

Farmer added that the idea of getting outdoors, close to home, encourages people to try out camping.

“The idea is we want people to give it a shot,” he said, adding that camping at Heritage Park is a “good deal” because attendees will receive dinner June 3 and breakfast June 4, with many other activities in between to keep them entertained.

One of those activities includes an archery activity for $5, including equipment.

Farmer added that about 80 families usually come out to camp, along with roughly 50-200 Scouts, for a total of about 500 people in the park that weekend.

Heritage Park will provide a restroom area, including  portable toilets.

Farmington Hills Recreation Superintendent April Heier said in an email that the camping event offers a lot to attendees.

“For one night, we are creating a campground in Heritage Park and offering families … an activity area that provides fun, excitement and education on what it means to camp and what families can do in the great outdoors,” she said in the email, adding that on June 3 there will be a 25-foot-long fire over which campers can cook.

“A Boy Scout troop will be doing a cooking demonstration, there will be a fishing game, crafts, the splash pad will be open, the Nature Discovery trail, a night hike, we will raffle off a campsite donated by Dick’s Sporting Goods, the archery range will be open, a scavenger hunt and more,” she said.

The Great Farmington Hills Campout is part of the “No Child Left Inside” initiative that promotes outdoor opportunities for children and families, according to a press release. 

For more information or to reserve a campsite, call the Costick Center at (248) 473-1800 or visit www.F2H.org or recreg.fhgov.com.