Look for new features, old favorites at 2018 Founders Festival

Changes are coming to the 2018 Greater Farmington Founders Festival designed to move more of the annual event out of downtown Farmington.

City officials on Monday approved dates, street closures and other details connected to Farmington’s signature summer event, held July 19-22 and organized by the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber director Mary Martin said while some events will continue in downtown Farmington, children’s and teen activities will all move to Shiawassee Park.

Greater Farmington Founders Festival
Hot air balloons will return for the 2018 Founders Festival.

“We are looking to really expand and grow that area,” she said. “I personally would like to see the whole festival go down into that area.”

New this year, a Vintage Marketplace on Farmington Road south of Grand River will showcase vendors selling vintage, handmade, and up-cycled items, along with a display of vintage campers and Airstream travel trailers.

Food trucks will remain in the Downtown Farmington Center parking lot, as will the beer tent and evening entertainment for adults: Atomic Radio on Thursday, 50 Amp Fuse on Friday, and Killer Flamingos on Saturday. But Market Street, in front of the strip mall anchored by Starbucks, and parking in front of Fresh Thyme will remain open. Martin said Riley Park will not be used.

Founders Festival
Festival activities for kids and teens that occupied Farmington Road in 2017 will move to Shiawassee Park this year. 

In addition to activities for the younger set, Shiawassee Park will once again host hot air balloons lighting up the night, a family-friendly movie night, and a fireworks display. Martin said she plans to have food trucks in the park.

Julie Law of 360 Events said the Farmington Fido Fest will be held in the park Thursday through Saturday. Pooch-focused features will include an Ultimate Air Dog competition, Rock ‘n’ Roll K9s, Disc Dogs of Michigan, Barnyard Hunt, vendors selling pet-related items, and rescue groups with dogs available for adoption.

To learn more and keep up with festival news, visit foundersfestival.com.