A parade will go through Franklin Road at noon on Labor Day.

A parade will go through Franklin Road at noon on Labor Day.

Photo provided by Katherine Erlich

Franklin sticks to tradition with annual Labor Day events

Yearlong bicentennial planned

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 22, 2023


FRANKLIN —“When I was a kid, my favorite thing was watching the tents go up,” said Katherine Erlich, Franklin Community Association board member-at-large and Round Up chair.

Erlich’s family moved to Franklin when she was 9 months old, and for decades, she has looked forward to the annual Labor Day Round Up.

The 78th annual Labor Day Round Up, Parade and Art in the Village event will be held in Franklin Monday, Sept. 4.


The FCA Labor Day Round Up
The Community Association’s Labor Day Round Up will take place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Franklin Community Park, 26495-26201 Carol Ave.

The day will have a parade at noon, as well as giant inflatables, pony rides, a petting farm, a magic show, jugglers, an interactive circus, midway games, face painting, food from Leo’s Coney Island, classic cars, Historical Society and Garden Club displays, dog rescues, and more.

“We have the tradition of pretty much doing the same thing every year. That is kind of what Franklin is all about. When you have so much change in this world, you’ve got Franklin continuing to hold on to tradition,” Erlich said.

Erlich said the pony rides are kind of an homage to the past, when Franklin had horse shows.

While the event has kept to tradition for years, the earliest years were a little different. The first quasi-Round Up in 1943, during World War II, was basically a garden show, according to Community Association President Al Beke.

The actual first Round Up was in 1944, and it was a victory garden harvest show with garden and flower arrangements, and the horse show.

“The purpose of the Round Up was initially to get everyone together before school,” Beke said.


Art in the Village
Franklin will also hold the 42nd year of its free fine art fair 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Labor Day at the Village Green.

Artists of several mediums — such as glass, pottery, fiber, furniture, jewelry, photography, painting, watercolor, wood and more — will be present at the event to show off and sell their work.

Each artist attends by invitation. This year, some of the artists include Heather and Jim Babal, Nancy Cooper, Alyse and Paul Hurn, Simon and Joy Tarasiewicz, and Chuck Wimmer.

Jane Polan has overseen Art in the Village as a volunteer for 17 years.

“I look forward to the relationship with the artists,” Polan said. “I enjoy going to shows throughout the year to meet new artists and to talk to my artist, but many of them I consider friends, and I am honored when they speak of it as their favorite fair to do.”


Bicentennial preparations
In order to celebrate the milestone of a bicentennial, the village is currently laying the groundwork to start a yearlong celebration.

The Round Up will be used as an opportunity to remind residents of Franklin’s 200th anniversary and inform them of what the celebrations might look like next year.

Franklin plans to celebrate the bicentennial throughout the year. Residents should keep an eye out for a list of events that will take place next year.

“We are anxiously looking forward to our neighbors coming together to enjoy themselves,” Beke said.