FarmingtonJuly 18, 2012
Founders Festival has something for everyone
By David Wallace
C & G Staff Writer
The annual Founders Festival is set to take over downtown Farmington Thursday evening through Saturday.
This year’s festival begins for the adults at 7 p.m. July 19 with a performance from That 80’s Band at Walker’s Tavern, which this year will be located in the Downtown Farmington Center parking lot, south of Tubby’s. The Downtown Development Authority, which organizes the festival, moved the tent this year to spare the new sod in Riley Park.
“Find the tent and listen for the music,” said DDA Executive Director Annette Knowles.
For fine wine and live music, also check out Alley Regalley, www.alleyregalley.biz, from 5 p.m. to midnight all three nights behind Village Mall.
Before 5 p.m., the festival main stage will be open to all ages and will feature such musical acts as Uprizin’ Steel Band 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Steve King and the Dittilies 2-4 p.m. Friday, Sound Proof noon-2 p.m. Saturday and Universal Xpression 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday.
After 5 p.m., the main stage will be restricted to a 21-and-older crowd. From 7-11 p.m. Friday night, Fifty Amp Fuse will perform, and the same time Saturday night will feature Killer Flamingos.
“Those groups are always very popular. They attract a crowd,” said Knowles.
Another venue change this year involves the Meijer Go Playground, which will surround the Sundquist Pavilion. The playground’s rides will be on the paved area from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Howell Conference and Nature Center will bring animals from its Wild Wonders Wildlife Park to the Go Playground 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There will be live raptor shows at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
There will be music, dancing and magic at the Meijer Family Stage at the pavilion throughout both days, including the Farmington Idol finals 6-8 p.m. Friday. The Farmington Idol semifinals start at 6 p.m. Thursday at Drakeshire Lanes, 35000 Grand River. All are free.
Farmington Idol will feature several local performers and musicians, including Elvis tribute artist Fred Wolfe, as judges.
“I just wanted to make it super, super fun and different,” said organizer Ginny Morris.
“The winner’s going to have to have something a little bit special that’s going to set them aside from everyone else,” said Wolfe, wearing a $3,500 Elvis jumpsuit at the pavilion for publicity July 12.
One of the festival’s yearly traditions is the parade through downtown Farmington, which begins at Grand River and Power Road at approximately 9:50 a.m. Saturday. It will proceed to Grand River and Liberty Street.
To accommodate the parade and the annual Fun Run at 9 a.m., the Public Safety Department will close Grand River Avenue to traffic between Orchard Lake and Shiawassee roads from 8:45 a.m. until about noon.
The parade will be refreshing in light of the recent scorching temperatures.
“We have a winter wonderland theme, so I’m sure we’ll have a lot of cool surprises in the parade,” said Knowles.
Would that include Santa Claus for a little Christmas in July?
“I’m hearing that he may make a special trip from the North Pole,” Knowles said.
There are many more things to see and buy. Farmington Road will host a crafters marketplace 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The festival offers food from several vendors, and there are many restaurants to patronize throughout downtown.
The Go Green initiative will be back for a second year in Memorial Park, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, west of Masonic Hall. People will be able to learn about environmental issues and patronize vendors specializing in such things as container gardening, food, beauty products and more.
“We had some good feedback, so we decided to bring it back,” Knowles said.
Also in Memorial Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday will be Home FurEver, a volunteer-based, no-kill dog adoption organization. In addition to meeting some dogs, and maybe finding a pet, people can donate supplies, such as dog food, paper towels and Clorox disinfectant spray, to help the organization.
Salem United Church of Christ will have rain barrel workshops for $45 and composting kits for sale for $100 7-9 p.m. July 20 and noon-2 p.m. July 21. Call (248) 474-6880 to make a reservation.
And for those who love books, the Friends of the Farmington Community Library will once again set up their annual book sale along Farmington Road, in front of Merle Norman, across from CVS, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The sale includes the best donations the Friends receive throughout the year, and there are too many books to display at once.
“We replenish them probably two or three times throughout the sale,” said Diane Sands of the Friends.
To explore the city’s history, visit the Farmington History Booth between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The booth is the place to get tickets for the free Magical History Tours, via air-conditioned van, 1-4 p.m. Saturday.
For more fun with history, the Gov. Warner Mansion will have a petting zoo and pony rides on its lawn 1-5 p.m. Friday, and a flea market 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Riveting storyteller Rosie Chapman will educate audiences at 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, and the day will close with a dulcimer concert and Gov. Warner birthday cake 3-5 p.m.
And late night Thursday, head to the Farmington Civic Theater for a midnight showing of “The Hunger Games” and a 12:15 a.m. showing of “The Avengers.”
For all of the activities available — many more than those listed here — visit www.foundersfestival.com.
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