Founders Festival: More than just a new location

The 55th annual Greater Farmington Area Founders Festival, held July 19-21, will bring favorite activities, new features, and the return of fireworks to Farmington’s Shiawassee Park.

While the park has hosted some parts of the festival, all activities will move there from downtown Farmington. Guests will find new parking locations this year, at Farmington High School, next to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church, behind the Maxfield Training Center, and other lots around town.

A courtesy shuttle for seniors and people with disabilities will operate daily between Farmington High and the festival grounds. (A stretch of Shiawassee Road will be closed to through traffic between Farmington Road and south-bound Power Road.)

The fun begins with a soft opening of the Beer Tent at 5 p.m. on July 18. Wisteria & Atomic Radio Will perform. Activities starting Friday include:

Fido Fest

Farmington Fido Fest will include performances from the Ultimate Air Dogs, Rock n’ Roll K9’s, Disc Dogs of Michigan, and Lucky Lure Coursing. This area will also include pet-related vendors and “Rescue Row” pet adoptions. Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.

Family Fun

The Family Fun Zone features a children’s carnival for kids ages 12 and younger with games, rides, and inflatables. The Community Choice Credit Union Cash Tornado will be on-site Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Children can meet with princesses, superheroes, and characters from “Frozen”, and can make crafts and have their faces painted. The Koalabotz, presented by Bosch, will conduct a variety of free STEAM activities including coding, LEGO robots, watching acid and base reactions while exploding LEGO volcanoes, and creating fun toys with recycled materials. Hours: Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.

Beer Tent

Live music in the beer tent will include Fifty Amp Fuse on Friday and Killer Flamingos on Saturday. Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.

Pig Roast

A new twist on an old tradition, the Farmington Founders Festival Pig Roast  will be hosted by Ideal Bite on Friday and Saturday.

Bingo

The Bingo Tent will be right in the middle of the action, near the music stage and food court area starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Fireworks

Back by popular demand, the festival will host a fireworks display. Watch the fireworks from inside Shiawassee Park. There will be short-term road closings during the show at 10 p.m. on Saturday, weather permitting.

Hot air balloons

The hot air balloons return on Friday at dusk, weather permitting. Crews will inflate hot-air balloons, and pilots will talk to kids about how heated air molecules inflate the balloons and make them rise.

Food Court

A variety of food trucks will offer up everything from Elephant Ears to unique eats. Thursday – Sunday during festival hours.

Touch a Truck

Kids can explore big trucks, street sweepers and emergency vehicles on Shiawassee Road next to the park. Hours: Friday, 1 – 3 p.m.

Vintage Marketplace

Creative and talented crafters will display shabby chic designs, vintage decor, up-cycled and rustic creations. Find that perfect one-of-a-kind piece of furniture, handcrafted jewelry, handmade consumables, or something whimsical for your garden. Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 12 – 5 p.m. Vendors are welcome to send applications to jlaw@360EventProductions.com.

LOC Color Run

This 5k fun run will give participants the opportunity to run or walk through Shiawassee Park and Downtown Farmington along the parade route. Medals presented to age-group winners. Four color stations throughout the race route add a special experience. The race will be chip-timed by the Michigan Running Foundation. Register at https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Farmington/FarmingtonFoundersFestival4MileRunRace Saturday, 9 a.m.

Farmington Founders Festival Parade

This year’s Animated Adventures Parade offers up a magical experience. Whether you love the classics like Pinocchio or Sleeping Beauty, or are more of a Monsters Inc., Ralph Breaks the Internet, or Pirates of the Caribbean fan, this one’s for everyone. Saturday, 10 a.m.

Farmington Founders Festival presented by Meijer is produced by the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce and 360 Event Productions. The festival happens with support from sponsors including Meijer, Beaumont Hospital, Community Choice Credit Union, Bosch, DTE Energy Foundation, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Jim Beam, West Side Beer, LOC Credit Union, American House Senior Living Communities, and Faygo.

Look for additional details, program updates and schedules at https://www.foundersfestival.com or on the Founders Festival Facebook page.

Clarification: The location of the Bingo Tent has been updated.