Funky Ferndale Art Fair and DIY Street Fair to return Sept. 22-24

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 13, 2017


FERNDALE — Art of all different kinds will be featured throughout downtown Ferndale when the Funky Ferndale Art Fair and DIY Street Fair return to Nine Mile Road.

The fairs will take place Sept. 22-24, with the art fair running from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22; from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23; and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.

The street fair will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Sept. 22; from 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, Sept. 23; and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24.

The Funky Ferndale Art Fair will feature more than 120 artists looking to share their art with others. Event organizer Mark Loeb said a new element he’s excited to share with people is a Mad Libs-style scavenger hunt, where people will hunt for clues to win prizes.

“They can find the answer to the clues by visiting booths and stores,” he said. “Once they’ve found the answers, they get a coupon for one of the local stores that will be giving a substantial discount.”

Loeb said there are three types of difficulties for the hunt: “family,” “regular” and “sleuth,” for people seeking a harder challenge.

“It may indicate a booth number, and then by going to this booth number, they’ll get a sign where you would see the artist’s medium, which might be the answer to a clue,” he said. “Some of the stores will be involved too. So we’re trying to get people to really explore the downtown area while they’re at the show.”

The event also will be highlighted by a new mural installation on the wall of the Cupcake Station at the corner of Allen and Nine Mile roads; Madison Heights teen Heaven Guty designed the mural. With the theme of inclusivity, her design features the silhouettes of six people with different hairstyles, genders and facial features, but with visible skeletons that show they all are human.

About 40 percent of the people with booths this year are new, Loeb noted, in that they haven’t been in the fair the last few years at least.

“I like the fact that we go with a little less rigid of a format,” he said. “By focusing on work that’s a little less traditional, I think a lot of people who are maybe uncomfortable with other art fairs feel welcomed at this one.”

On East Nine Mile Road and East Troy Street, the DIY Street Fair will have 150 artists and more than 40 musicians playing over the weekend, event producer Dustin Leslie said.

According to Leslie, what’s interesting about the event every year is the number of people interested in participating. This year, organizers had more than 400 applications from artists interested in being showcased.

“That job gets more difficult every year, because there’s so many talented people in our area that want to be part of it,” he said. “You can really throw a dart and hit one. It’s really hard to put it together, and there’s a lot of people that aren’t involved with it that certainly deserve to be. They’re certainly qualified.”

Among some of the fun things that will be featured at the fair will be the return of the free Ferris wheel and a cornhole tournament.

Leslie said he feels the environment of the event is a good example of Ferndale’s diversity.

“The artists are there. So you can actually interact with the people that are making these super interesting things. It’s not a department store feel,” he said.

He continued, “So much of Michigan is represented in this little fair. That’s something that, as Michiganders, we can all really get behind. Not just food and artists, but also the beer. I hate to say it has a little something for everybody, but it really does. It doesn’t have, like, an exclusive feel.”

For more information on the Funky Ferndale Art Fair, visit

For the DIY Street Fair, visit