Founders Festival returns to the streets of downtown Farmington with concerts, dog shows, and more

It’s another feel-good story coming out of downtown Farmington: The Greater Farmington Founders Festival, now in its 57th year, makes its big return this weekend, this after last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You know it’s a big deal when the festival is able to secure Faygo Firework, the limited edition, sold-out-everywhere soda pop that tastes like the classic ice cream truck treat: The Bomb-Pop. The hard-to-find drink from the classic Detroit company Faygo is selling upwards of $40 for a 4-pack on eBay, last we checked.

Sugary soft drinks aside, the return of the Founders Festival is a welcome one for downtown Farmington. The three-day event opens Thursday evening and runs through Saturday, July 17.

Many of the festival’s time-honored traditions return this year.

The beer tent returns to the intersection of Grand River and Farmington, operating 5 to 11 p.m. on Thursday and noon to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A $5 cover begins at 6 p.m. each day.

Live music will fill the air each day, a line-up that includes Andy Patalan and Local Heroes on Thursday; Just 2 Guitars, Cheyenne Goff, Cody Broggs, and Fifty Amp Fuse on Friday; and the Farmington School of Rock students, Whiskey for Random, and Square Pegz on Saturday.

Food trucks will complement downtown’s established bars and restaurants, including fare from The Ideal Bite, Different Twist Pretzel, Shelly’s Hotdogs, and more. A Crafters Market will feature the work of makers and artisans. And, new this year, sand artists will create a sand sculpture and teach kids how to, too.

There will be magic shows and other events for children, including the Touch-a-Truck event, which lets kids explore the big trucks like street sweepers and emergency vehicles.

And for the dogs, and lovers of dogs, there’s the Fido Fest, featuring acrobatic shows, contests, and more.

On Saturday, the LOC Credit Union & Brookdale Senior Living 5k Color Run is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with the Farmington Founders Festival Parade to follow at 10 a.m.

Visit the Greater Farmington Founders Festival online for information on events, parking, and more.

Note: The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market is moving to Farmington High School on Saturday to make room for the festival.

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