Main Street Franklin to host first summer block party

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 11, 2021

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FRANKLIN — Historic downtown Franklin will dust off the construction debris and prepare for its first-ever summer block party Wednesday, Aug. 18, hosted by Main Street Franklin.

The event will feature a day of sidewalk sales beginning at 11 a.m., and then later, at 5 p.m., an evening of festivities including live music, comedy acts, food trucks, municipal service vehicles for kids to explore, historical exhibits, and a wine and mixology tent for the of-age crowd.

According to Village Administrator Roger Fraser, the block party is a welcome return to Franklin’s annual festivities after taking a year off during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He hopes residents’ spirits will bounce back, along with sales for local merchants.

“This outdoor event is hosted and funded by Main Street Franklin and the village of Franklin,” Fraser said in a press release. “We hope to make this an annual event that celebrates the economic investment of the village into downtown Franklin.”

Entertainment for the evening will be headlined by local musician Sean Blackman, who is set to bring his cross-cultural world music sound to the village stage with an internationally influenced band. Resident and comedian Connie Ettinger will perform too, as will local grade-school age musicians from Axis Academy.

Thirsty guests who are 21 or older can imbibe in the beverage tent and sample a specially crafted cocktail called the “Franklin Frost.”

For the younger set, the Franklin Public Library will host crafts and lawn games, and the Kreger House will feature a pop-up exhibition from the Franklin Historical Society. Hazon’s Topsy Turvy Bus is scheduled to make a stop at the party, too.

The event will double as a celebration of newly installed sidewalks in the village center, at 13 Mile and Franklin roads. Bad weather delayed the completion of the overall streetscape projects, which was expected to be completed in the spring. Along with sidewalks, plantings, street lamps and a variety of stone retaining walls were added to the downtown area.

That, along with the hiring of an economic development director, will, hopefully, give the village center a boost ahead of Franklin’s bicentennial in two years.

“I’m hopeful that this event marks the beginning of the rejuvenation of our historic village center,” Village Council President Bill Lamott said in an email.

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