The Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market will open this year on Saturday, May 19 and end on a high note with the October 27 Haunted Market.
Market Master Walt Gajewski announced the change in closing date (from the first Saturday in November) during a Monday Farmington City Council meeting. The Halloween market, which is part of a downtown Farmington Halloween celebration, typically draws a huge crowd with costumed vendors, pumpkin painting and other themed activities.
“It will forever end at the end of October,” he said. “I think it’s a great way to end with the Haunted Market. I think it’s a good way to go out.”
Gajewski said he plans to continue arrangements with the Village Commons and Sunny Day Care & Montessori to provide more than 70 additional parking spaces on market days. In addition, improved way-finding signage has led to greater use of 48 spaces on Orchard Street, south of the market.
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Last year saw a 7.5 percent increase in market attendance; almost two-thirds of market-goers came from Farmington and Farmington Hills. Of the remaining 35 percent, Livonia was “far and away the biggest supporter,” Gajewski said. Visitors also come from Northville and Plymouth, and even from cities on the east side of metro Detroit.
The market will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, and Gajewski said he’s planning some special activities. Visitors will also see the return of markets celebrating Polish and Italian culture, Strawberry Shortcake Day, Elks Corn Roast, and other themed markets.
“You really took the market to a new level,” Mayor Steven Schneemann said. “The whole community benefits from the energy you put into the job.”