Downtown Farmington hosts Poe-themed Grand Raven festival all month long

Downtown Farmington has been daydreaming about hosting the Grand Raven Festival for about three years now. And now it’s finally arrived.

It’s this month that the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired street festival flies through the window like The Raven itself, bringing a spooky but fun atmosphere to the streets of downtown Farmington.

The first-ever Grand Raven Festival is officially underway. The month-long event provides downtown a spookified atmosphere where one of America’s most famous poets might feel downright comfortable.

"We wanted to provide the option for passive programming, where people can enjoy the décor on their own time, whether it’s Sunday morning or Tuesday at midnight," says Kate Knight, director for Farmington’s Downtown Development Authority.

"There’s a Raven theme that’s Poe-esque. It’s spooky but family-friendly."

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on each Thursday throughout October, there is a Grand Raven Victorian Book Walk that winds through the streets of Farmington as Poe’s poem The Raven is recited. The walk begins at the Farmington Community Library with a suggested nightcap at the Sidecar Slider Bar. In fact, a number of downtown establishments are offering Raven-themed drinks all month long.

And that's not all.

The Farmington Civic Theater is hosting recitations of Poe poems each Wednesday at 6 p.m., which stream live on Facebook.

Free pumpkins will be handed out for a pumpkin carving contest. The pumpkins are available at the Farmington Farmers Market each Saturday and will be displayed at Riley Park.

A cookie decorating contest will be held on Halloween outside of Kitchen Creations.

Although the registration window has closed, the Ravencrow Contest will see the Raven-themed scarecrows community members designed. They'll be installed throughout downtown beginning Sunday, Oct. 11.

The Downtown Farmington Facebook page is also featuring the work of artist Leila Mullison, whose stop-motion videos feature an animated Raven as it visits different locations throughout downtown Farmington.

"People are passionate about the Halloween season," Knight says.

The Grand Raven Festival is ongoing throughout the month of October. Visit Downtown Farmington online for more information about events and registration.

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