A mural was placed on the front door of Farmington Hills City Hall to help celebrate the city’s 50th anniversary. A “big, big party” has been scheduled in recognition of the anniversary.

A mural was placed on the front door of Farmington Hills City Hall to help celebrate the city’s 50th anniversary. A “big, big party” has been scheduled in recognition of the anniversary.

Photo provided by the city of Farmington Hills

Farmington Hills celebrates the city’s 50th anniversary

By: Mark Vest | Farmington Press | Published March 31, 2023


FARMINGTON HILLS — In the 1800s, the city now known as Farmington Hills was known as Quakertown.

It was organized in 1827 as the township of Farmington before eventually being incorporated as a city in 1973.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Farmington Hills, and over the course of its history, the city has seen some changes.

As of 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the city’s population is more than 83,000, which, according to ststisticalatlas.com, makes Farmington Hills the second most-populated city in Oakland County, after Troy.

The city has no intention of having its semicentennial go unnoticed. Various anniversary activities have been planned.

During a Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce State of the Cities breakfast March 8, Farmington Hills Mayor Vicki Barnett officially kicked off the city’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which are themed, “Reflecting on our past to shine greater light on our future.”

At the event, marigold seed packets were distributed, and Barnett encouraged attendees to plant them to help celebrate the city’s anniversary.

The highlight of the celebrations is an official city of Farmington Hills 50th anniversary party, set to take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at Founders Sports Park, located at 35500 W. Eight Mile Road.

Food, games and entertainment, including from the band Fifty Amp Fuse, are all slated to be part of the festivities.

To cap it all off, fireworks are set to light the sky that evening.

Vickie Sullen-Winn, who is Farmington Hills’ director of communications and community engagement, referred to it as a “big, big party.”

“You can’t have a birthday without a party, right? We’re going to have a family-friendly party with entertainment, food and fireworks,” Sullen-Winn said. “So lots of fun planned to take advantage of this opportunity to rally around … our big semicentennial  for the city.”

Farmington Hills City Manager Gary Mekjian said in a press release that the event represents the city coming together to celebrate “everything that’s great about Farmington Hills.”

Throughout the year, anniversary activities are expected to include special art projects for children during summer camp at the Hawk Community Center, as well as for seniors at the Costick Center.

“The city had a history in the past — before the pandemic — they painted snow plows, and that stopped with the pandemic, like a lot of other things, so we’re gonna bring that back,” Sullen-Winn said. “And so we’re going to have two snow plows that will be creatively decorated with our seniors at the Costick Center and then with our campers at the Hawk Community Center.”

A time and place for the art projects has yet to be determined. However, after the celebration in July has “died down,” the city wants the celebration to continue.

“One of the reasons we wanted to do the snow plows is because this is a yearlong celebration,” Sullen-Winn said. “Later in the year when the snow has fallen once again, they (residents) will have a memory, we’re hoping, from the great time that they had at the party. But seeing this 50th anniversary-inspired snow plow rolling through the city (at) the hands of our seniors and our youth (is) a nod to the past and the future.”

A mural on the front door of City Hall is also helping to make it pretty clear that Farmington Hills has something to celebrate this year.

“We encourage people to stop by to see this beautiful, vibrant, vinyl mural, and we’re encouraging the community to take selfies — our students, our seniors, our groups,” Sullen-Winn said. “Group shots are encouraged using the hashtag #FH50, as in Farmington Hills 50.”

Sullen-Winn said that more than 2,000 business owners are going to receive a personalized letter from the city that will include a window decal, in the hope that the decals will be displayed.

Banners are also expected to be posted at “key spots” throughout the city.

Sullen-Winn said that things at City Hall have been exciting.

“Fifty years. That’s not a long time, as compared to other cities, but it’s so significant because so much has been done in a short time,” she said. “We think about this starting off as a Quaker town, and now it’s one of Oakland County’s largest cities, and it’s one of the most diverse communities in Oakland County. I think it is significant, and we’ll get to see the diversity … when everybody comes together around this one theme — celebrating our 50th anniversary.”

According to information sent by Sullen-Winn, the first white settler in what became Farmington Township was a Quaker from Farmington, New York, named Arthur Power. He purchased land in 1823 and later returned with a group of families and associates.

The settlement became known as Quakertown.

Although Sullen-Winn said that Farmington Hills has a great history, plenty of attention has also been paid to what could lie ahead.

“We want the city’s input, in terms of the direction that the city is going or would like to go or could go,” she said. “We invite the city to come out — community members — to help us reimagine what Farmington Hills could look like for the next 50 years, and that effort, actually, is called ‘The Next 50.’ So, more to come on that.”

To stay abreast of events scheduled in the city, visit fhgov.com.