Founders Festival has something for everyone — Kids, grown-ups, and even our furry friends

What’s happening: The 58th annual Greater Farmington Founders Festival is set to return to the streets, sidewalks, and parks of downtown Farmington on Thursday, July 14, and continue through Saturday, July 16. With streetscape improvements closing Farmington Road, the festival has expanded its downtown footprint, with the Crafters Market taking place at Riley Park and the surrounding parking lot, and Kids Zone set for Warner Street. It’s important to note that the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market will move to Farmington High School on Saturday, July 16, making room for the festival.

What’s new: While many of the events that festival goers have come to anticipate year after year are set to return, there are some new attractions at this year’s festival. These include a kids foam party, a mobile gaming trailer, and an axe-throwing area.

Soft opening: The majority of festival activities are scheduled for Friday and Saturday but a soft-opening of the beer tent and food truck-food court will set the tone for the weekend, opening from 5 to 11 p.m. that Thursday evening. Both will remain open throughout the festival run. Dance-rock band Local Heroes will also perform on Thursday from 7 to 11 p.m.

Gotta get down on Friday: The Crafters Market opens at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 15, and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. At the Kids Zone, live sand art demonstrations and interactive sand art activities are scheduled for both days, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. And the Touch-A-Truck event, where kids can explore work trucks and emergency vehicles, is a Friday-only event, scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. A full day of music is scheduled, with Mark Reitenga opening at noon and Fifty Amp Fuse closing out the night.

Saturday, Saturday: The LOC Credit Union 5k Color Run kicks things off on Saturday, with runners taking to the streets at 9 a.m. The annual Farmington Founders Festival Parade follows, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday’s live music lineup begins with Andy Patalan at noon and has The Square Pegz closing out the festival from 8:30 to 11 p.m.

For the dogs: The Farmington Fido Fest also returns this year. The dog-centric festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and includes a number of different contests and events, as well as several dog-friendly vendors. Even the beer tent has special hours for the pups, including cooling pools, allowing festival-goers to bring their dogs on Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

Visit the Greater Farmington Founders Festival online for an up-to-date schedule of festival activities, events, and more.

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