The Greater Farmington Founders Festival is scheduled to return this month.

The Greater Farmington Founders Festival is scheduled to return this month.

File photo provided by 360 Event Productions

Founders Festival set to return

By: Mark Vest | Farmington Press | Published July 7, 2023


FARMINGTON — A longstanding tradition is set to continue in Farmington, as the Greater Farmington Founders Festival is scheduled to take place July 20-22 in the downtown area.

It is the 59th year for the event, and multiple options for entertainment have been scheduled for residents to enjoy.

The agenda includes a 5K color run that is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 22, giving participants an opportunity to run through Shiawassee Park and downtown Farmington.

The Founders Festival Parade is scheduled to take place along Grand River Avenue starting at 10 a.m. July 22.

A kids area is set to be part of the fun 10 a.m.-8 p.m. July 21 and 22.

The kids area is scheduled to feature the Airborne Bouncers stage shows, live sand art and a foam party.

The Crafters Market is set to take place July 21 and 22, with vendors offering “vintage decor, shabby chic designs, up-cycled items, handmade consumables, rustic inspirations and one-of-a-kind furniture.”

The Crafters Market is scheduled for 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on both dates.

Farmington Fido Fest is also scheduled to take place 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 21 and July 22. Entertainment will include the Ultimate Air Dogs and the Disc Dogs of Michigan Frisbee Show.

From July 20-22,  a spot at Grand River and Farmington Road will be home to a dance party, live music, beverages and a variety of food trucks. To enter the beer tent, residents must be 21 or over and have valid identification. According to, there is a $5 cover starting at 5 p.m., with only cash accepted. There is no ATM onsite, according to the website.

Multiple bands are scheduled to be part of the festivities in the afternoon and evening July 21 and 22. On July 20, Powerplay Detroit is scheduled to perform 7-10 p.m.

Farmington Mayor Sara Bowman said that the festival is her favorite weekend of the year and that she takes three days off of work so she doesn’t miss anything.

“The Founders Fest is probably the biggest homecoming event that Farmington has,” Bowman said. “It’s got so many years of tradition behind it and has grown and changed over the years, but the core basis is just an opportunity to get the entire community together for a weekend celebration.”

Farmington Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kate Knight provided details about how popular the festival is.

“It’s about a half-century of Farmington tradition, and it’s by far our biggest draw into the downtown all year long,” Knight said. “We have development software from Oakland County that shows us that we had more than 86,000 trips into downtown, our district, that week last year. … It’s a great reunion weekend. It’s quintessential Farmington summer, and our businesses and residents really look forward to it.”

Farmington’s downtown plays a large role in the atmosphere that comes with the Greater Farmington Founders Festival.

“It’s been the center of it all for about 200 years, and we’re continuing to invest,” Knight said. “We’re looking at ways to attract and retain the families that have made this their home and show off what a great spot Farmington is.”

Bowman shared what her favorite part of the festivities are.

“The parade, without a doubt — it’s the biggest, it’s the longest, it’s the most fun,” she said. “It incorporates so many of our different civic organizations, the schools, and our scouting troops. It’s sort of like the pinnacle, the highlight – you’ve warmed up a little bit with Thursday night music, and then again Friday with Fido Fest starting, but by the time you get to Saturday morning you’ve hit the high mark, and then it just keeps going from there.”

From Bowman’s perspective, for those who live in Farmington, it’s hard to avoid the festival.

“It’s smack-dab in the middle of town,” she said. “It’s a time to park your car, hop on your bicycle or walk into town and just mingle. … I hear from so many people that they plan their summer vacations around Founders Fest weekend to make sure that they’re home for it. … There’s no way to avoid being involved because it takes over the town.”

For scheduled events, visit