Franklin rounds up residents for one last summer hurrah

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 29, 2013

 Tim Salisbury does some heavy lifting for spectators at last year’s Round Up in downtown Franklin. Organizers say the juggler is always a crowd favorite.

Tim Salisbury does some heavy lifting for spectators at last year’s Round Up in downtown Franklin. Organizers say the juggler is always a crowd favorite.

File photo by Donna Agusti


FRANKLIN — All good things must come to an end. In Franklin, the close of summer will once again be celebrated with the village’s annual Round Up festivities this Labor Day.

Now in its 69th year, the Round Up will offer families more fun than ever to enjoy as students prepare to head back to school and fall makes its grand arrival. With midway games, a petting farm, pony rides, a classic car show and much more, there’s a little something for everyone at the annual fair.

The highlight of the day’s festivities has traditionally been the parade, beginning at noon in the Village Center. Resident Warren Robinson has been organizing the parade for years, and though he admits it’s always a last-minute endeavor, it always manages to come together just in time for the big day.

“It’s just a great, festive bit of Americana. It’s a small town atmosphere and great fun. It’s a fitting end to the summer, and somehow, every year, it gets bigger and better than the previous,” he said.

Among those to strut through downtown Franklin on Labor Day will be Tim Salisbury, the popular entertainer known for juggling bowling balls. Adoptable animals from local rescue groups will be there parading for a new forever home, and classic cars will cruise into town on their way to the classic car show.

“Sometimes, I think of it as an extension of the Woodward Dream Cruise, as if we didn’t get enough excitement then,” said Robinson.

Also making an appearance this year will be Detroit Tigers mascot, Paws. Organizer Jane Polan said kids are invited to dress in their favorite Tigers gear and walk alongside Paws in the parade.

When visitors need a break from the parade and the fair, they can head over to the 33rd annual Art in the Village Fine Art Fair. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m., more than 85 artists will feature their wares on the Village Green. Fair-goers can check out unique creations in glass, pottery, fiber, jewelry, watercolor and wood while they enjoy live music from Blackman & Gerald and Rennie Kaufmann.

“It’s one of the best fine art shows in southeast Michigan — I think all of Michigan,” said Polan. “Many of the artists say it’s their favorite show to do.”

Polan also noted the silent auction that will take place that day, with more than 100 prizes to bid on from merchants like Hiller’s Market and local restaurants. There will be tickets to Detroit Red Wings and Tigers games up for auction, and even cider and doughnuts from the historic Franklin Cider Mill, which will open for the season this weekend.

Proceeds from the silent auction will go to benefit The Community Association, which hosts the Round Up each year and other events around Franklin. The association uses funds raised to put on neighborhood-centric events and maintain property around the Village Offices, south of Franklin Community Church. Polan said that, recently, the association was able to resurface the tennis courts near the Village Green, and next on the agenda is to repair the gazebo.

The Round Up will take place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 2 in downtown Franklin, along Franklin Road, between 13 Mile and 14 Mile roads. The parade begins at noon.

The Art in the Village fine art fair will take place 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. For more information, visit