It's all happening: Art on the Grand, Author & Book Fest, and skateboards in downtown Farmington

What’s happening: The 14th annual Art on the Grand event is set to return to downtown Farmington this weekend, the free fine arts and craft fair, juried art competition, and street festival that officials expect could attract upwards of 40,000 visitors over the course of Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4. And while the event itself is no doubt enough of a draw to entice that many people downtown, the Farmington community has planned a little something extra for the big weekend.

What it is: Art on the Grand occurs along Grand River Avenue throughout downtown Farmington, closing city streets to traffic to allow visitors to walk the promenade of artists, crafters, vendors, and more. The event is organized by the City of Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Division and the Farmington Downtown Development Authority.

What’s planned: A lot. Organizers have booked more than 100 artists and craft-makers for this year’s event, each selling their unique works along Grand River. Also planned is a juried art competition, a Kids Art Alley that features the work of local students, food and drink vendors, a kids’ play area, and more.

But that’s not all: This year’s festival is complemented by two special events also happening downtown while Art on the Grand is underway.

There’s the first-ever Farmington Author & Book Festival, a collaboration between KickstART Farmington and the Farmington Community Library. The inaugural event will feature “author readings, book signings, discussions, workshops, and more, along with a book marketplace offering publications by area authors and publishers,” according to KickstART Farmington.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, at Memorial Park in downtown Farmington.

Says KickstART Farmington founder Dwayne Hayes, "The festival aims to introduce readers to some new books in various genres by over fifty fantastic Michigan authors, while also providing opportunities to hear authors read their work, learn more about what it takes to get published, or even leave with a poem you compose at a workshop with poet Joy Gaines-Friedler. The FAB Festival kicks off with several short readings by a group of children’s authors and is highlighted in the late afternoon with a talk by award-winning crime fiction writer Stephen Mack Jones."

Also planned is 20 Years of Pushing, a skateboard art show celebrating the 20th year of PLUS Skateboarding in downtown Farmington. Local artists painted skateboards for the event, which will be exhibited and auctioned off to support local art initiatives. The exhibition is planned for Friday, June 2, through Sunday, June 4, at Skep Space. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, June 2, from 7 to 10 p.m.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.