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August 27, 2014

Round Up bids so long to sweet summer

Annual event includes fine art fair, car show, book sale and more

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Kids get up close and personal with animals at the petting zoo during last year’s Round Up celebration in Franklin.

FRANKLIN — Alas, if the summer must end, it ought to go out with a bang.

At least that’s the motto in Franklin, where every year villagers bid farewell to the season and usher in autumn with their annual Round Up event Sept. 1. You name it, the Round Up has it — food, games, pony rides, vintage cars, handmade fine art and more.

According to organizer Jane Polan, the Round Up — which is in its 70th year — is popular with residents in the village and from around metro Detroit, with about 75 percent of attendees coming from beyond Franklin’s borders.

“I believe people really like the small-town atmosphere that we have: volunteers cooking hot dogs and hamburgers — not large food trucks that one might see at other fairs — a bake sale, great items at our silent auction and a classic car show that rivals many in large cities,” she said. “Our parade, too, has the appeal of a small town with our mounted police officers, Scouts, and our Garden Club and baseball leaguers marching, in addition to the larger parade components of fire trucks, unicyclists, stilt walkers.”

Families can enjoy games, giant inflatables, food vendors, a rock climbing wall and tons of other attractions all day at the Round Up. Music performances by Sean Blackman in the morning and Rennie Kaufmann in the afternoon will be on the schedule, along with the parade at noon in downtown Franklin.

There will be a magician and jugglers, an animal rescue adoption event, exhibitions by community organizations, a bake sale, and a Lego city.

As if that weren’t enough, classic car enthusiasts can get one last Dream Cruise fix at the car show.

The Birmingham Education Foundation will be on hand 10 a.m.-4 p.m. to host its annual book sale at the Franklin Public Library, on Franklin Road, right near the excitement in the Village Center. Books start at just $1, and all proceeds go to benefit the BEF, which raises private funds in the community to support academic, artistic, athletic and technological opportunities for students in Birmingham Public Schools.

For many, though, the highlight of the day is the annual Art in the Village fine art fair, beginning at 10 a.m. More than 85 artists from around the state will come to show off exceptional wares, including glass, pottery, fiber, furniture, jewelry, photography, wood, sculpture and other items. The art fair itself is celebrating 34 years this Labor Day.

Among the artists slated to participate is Hannah Black of Hannah Black Ceramics. The Traverse City artist said she was personally asked to appear at Art in the Village after an organizer spotted her pottery at a show in Petoskey.

“I describe my work as very feminine, but kind of elegant — modern but also ornate at the same time. I use a limited palette of color that’s mostly white with some black here and there. This year, I have some aqua blue in the works. But, mostly, I focus on form more than color,” said Black.

She said that since she started creating functional pottery and ceramic jewelry about four years ago, she’s slowly developed a devoted following of customers. Shows like Art in the Village are a great way for her to meet new people and show off her pieces.

“I spend the remainder of the year attending art fairs throughout Michigan and surrounding states looking for artists that we would like to have join us in Franklin that are talented, unique and of the quality we have come to expect in Franklin,” said Polan.

Just down the road from all the end-of-summer festivities, the historic Franklin Cider Mill will be welcoming fall during its opening weekend. The mill dates back to 1837 and is a favorite among locals with a hankering for apple cider and fresh doughnuts.

For more information on Art in the Village, visit www.FranklinArtintheVillage.com. All of Franklin’s Labor Day festivities have free admission. Everything will take place in downtown Franklin, located along Franklin Road, between 13 Mile and 14 Mile roads.