PHOTOS: Scenes from opening night of the month-long Grand Raven Festival in downtown Farmington

A 6-foot-tall, 700-pound raven has once again descended upon the streets of downtown Farmington and that can only mean one thing – we hope (it would be awfully troubling otherwise). The Grand Raven Festival has returned.

Now in its fourth year, this month-long celebration of October, the spookiest of months, conjures the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” to revel in the fall season. It’s a uniquely downtown Farmington take on the unofficial poet laureate of Halloween and his lasting impact on this time of year, utilizing placemaking and the community’s own history to inform festival events, attractions, and programming.

[Related: Learn more about Edgar the Grand Raven, downtown Farmington's 700-pound raven sculpture, the artist responsible, and their story on Metromode.]

The Grand Raven Festival officially began this past Friday, Sept. 29, with an opening night celebration that opened with a performance from the Brass Animals marching band, who led costumed revelers through the streets of downtown Farmington in a New Orleans-style parade. Partygoers then circled back to Riley Park, where the Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Group put an exclamation point on the evening with a performance at the Sundquist Pavilion.

Metromode contributing photographer David Lewinski was on hand to take in the action.

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Brass Animals kick things off at the Sundquist Pavilion in Riley Park.

Festival-goers join in the fun and parade with the band through downtown Farmington.

An entrant in the annual Ravencrow Contest on display in Riley Park.

Parading past the historic Farmington State Savings Bank building, renovated by, and now headquarters to, Grand Raven sponsor GLP Financial Group.

Brass Animals and the crowd rally around Edgar the Grand Raven in front of downtown's historic Masonic Hall.

Revelers march along Grand River Avenue past the newly-opened and much buzzed about Cannelle Patisserie.

Visit Downtown Farmington online or on Facebook to learn more about the Grand Raven Festival and planned events.
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