The 2017 Swing Farmington season, opening May 4, will mark the 10th year of Thursday night dances at downtown Farmington’s Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park.
Alexander Steward, who organizes the weekly events, last week received city permission for the season, which runs through October 19. He said attendance averages around 200 during peak months (May through August).
While most who come out to dance fall between the ages of 13 and 35, Steward said swing dancing is open to all ages. “We’d like to build this year and become a broader-based community event,” he added.
The group will partner with the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market and Greater Farmington Founders Festival and hosts its annual Summer Swing Spectacular with live music on August 3.
“I look forward to this starting up every year and listening to the music from my backyard,” said council member Steven Schneemann.
Swing Farmington’s indoor season is held at St. John Lutheran Church in Farmington Hills, Steward said. To learn more, follow the group on Facebook.
Santa arrives in downtown Farmington December 3, during the annual Holly Days celebration hosted by the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce. Here’s what you’ll find during this holiday season kick-off:
Gifts & Greens Market
The day begins with a special holiday farmers market, open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion. Michigan farmers will offer fresh made wreaths, greens, roping, holiday centerpieces and firewood bundles, and local artisans will offer Michigan-made products. A donation to Farmington/Farmington Hills Neighborhood House will get you a free cup of fresh house-made chili from Page’s Food & Spirits.
Support the Farmington Area Goodfellows’ drive to ensure no child or senior in our community goes without a Christmas when you attend a free moving showing at the Farmington Civic Theater. “Miracle on 34th Street” shows at 10 a.m. and noon, and “Shrek the Halls” plays hourly starting at 10:15 a.m. and ending with the last showing at 1:15 p.m. Bring an unwrapped toy, pantry goods or monetary donation; in addition, half of all concession stand sales will benefit the local charity.
Santa and Mrs. Santa visits
Santa will listen to children’s wishes from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., by the fireplace at the Farmington Garage on Grand River just east of Grove St. Focal Point Photography Studios will offer free professional photos to take home.
Also during that time, find “Storytime with Mrs. Claus” at the Farmington Community Library Farmington branch, 23500 Liberty St., and an “Elf Workshop” for kids, at the Greater Farmington Chamber of Commerce, 33425 Grand River. (Be on the lookout for live reindeer!)
Light Up the Grand
At 6 p.m., a lighted parade will step off from Warner Street and Grand River, featuring music, dancing and floats. Free hot chocolate will be served by Pathways Christian Counseling of Farmington Hills at the Masonic Temple, starting at 5:30 p.m. Follow the parade to the Governor Warner Mansion for the annual tree lighting ceremony with Santa. Free tours of the mansion will be yours with a donation to the Salvation Army bell ringers.
Halloween isn’t just a one-day event in Farmington and Farmington Hills. Here’s what you should know about the holiday and related events:
Kids can trick-or-treat during the weekly farmers market held October 29 in downtown Farmington’s Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park. Activities starting at 9:30 a.m. will include a bounce house and free pumpkin decorating hosted by the Greater Farmington Energy Prize. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the ventriloquist team of Boytoe and Lazareth will entertain with puppet shows and free balloon art. Trick-or-treating all day. Learn more at farmingtonfarmersmarket.com.
Halloween Fun Fest
This annual downtown Farmington event, held October 29, includes an 11 a.m. story time at the Farmington Community Library Farmington branch, a free 12 p.m. showing of “Toy Story” at the Farmington Civic Theater, Halloween Fun House at Earned Not Give Crossfit from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and trick-or-treating at local businesses from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at downtownfarmington.org.
Trunk or Treat events
First Presbyterian Church of Farmington, 26165 Farmington Road in Farmington Hills: October 30, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy a spook-tacular coffee hour of cider and donuts, mingle with friends, and pick up treats at open car trunks. Costumes welcome.
Faith Covenant Church, 35415 W. 14 Mile Rd., in Farmington Hills: October 30, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Games, food, a trunk decorating contest, hot cider, tractor rides. Trunk-or-treating from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., a movie showing follows.
Farmington Community Band Spooktacular concert
The October 30, 3 p.m., concert theme is “Area 51”, and the program features several musical selections with an “outer space” theme. This free concert event gives kids an opportunity to show off their Halloween fashions in a costume parade on stage with the band. Everyone is encouraged to attend wearing their favorite outer space costume. Farmington Public Schools band students will appear on stage as special emcees, telling jokes and introducing musical selections. For information, visit fcbmusic.org.
On Halloween night, start out any time you’re ready.
Neither city has established specific hours for trick-or-treating. Generally speaking, folks who welcome costumed characters leave an outside light on.
Look for Farmington Public Safety officers delivering Halloween night treats.
Two members of the Farmington Public Safety Department will be out starting at 6 p.m. Halloween night to hand trick-or-treaters glow necklaces and bags of snacks. The 22-year-old program is designed to give children a positive first impression of police officers. The department also plans extra patrols in neighborhoods that night.
Trick or treat with the Farmington Hills Police Department
The Farmington Hills Police Department will give away Halloween candy on October 31, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the front desk. In addition, uniformed officers will distribute candy from their marked vehicles, while on subdivision patrols.
Parents and trick-or-treaters are reminded to stay safe this Halloween. The Police Department recommends the following tips:
Stay in a group and make sure a parent is nearby.
Look both ways when crossing the street.
Wear reflective tape for visibility on costumes.
Carry flash lights.
Wait until children are home to sort out all candy and remove any treats that are unwrapped or appear suspicious.
Expect some strange goings-on October 29, as the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market hosts its sixth annual Haunted Market, open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Farmington’s Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park.
“This market is haunted, I tell you,” said market volunteer Alexander Steward. “There’s all sorts of strange sounds at the market lately, like chains rattling and weird noises. I think there’s a ghost in the storage room.”
The event is part of the Farmington Downtown Development Authority’s annual Halloween Fun Fest, which includes an 11 a.m. story time at the Farmington Community Library Farmington branch, a free 12 p.m. movie at the Farmington Civic Theater, and trick-or-treating at local businesses from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“Kids can come out and trick or treat the market pretty much all day,” said market manager Walt Gajewski. “Most of the vendors will have candy and treats, including good stuff like Michigan apples. Vendors and volunteers will be dressing up too. This may be the most fun public market of the year.”
Activities starting at 9:30 a.m. will include a bounce house and free pumpkin decorating hosted by the Greater Farmington Energy Prize. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the ventriloquist team of Boytoe and Lazareth will entertain with puppet shows and free balloon art. Chef Dan Maier from the Walnut Lake Country Club will whip up a batch of “ghoulash” during an 11 a.m. cooking demo. Sinjon Smith provides live music starting at 10 a.m., and kids will find artistic face painters and a special craft at the Little Sprouts Kidz Korner.
The Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market opens at 9 a.m. Saturday, offering health screenings, live music, a chef’s demo, along with Michigan products and produce, at the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park in downtown Farmington.
The music starts at 10 a.m. with Mark Reitenga, and Laura Romito, chef for the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, begins cooking at 11 a.m. Beaumont Health will offer free health screenings and representatives will be on hand to answer your health and fitness questions. Special guest is Werner the Balloon Guy.
Riley Park Ice Rink won’t have a skate rental program this winter, but skaters will have an opportunity to prepare for the season.
Anyone with skates or other equipment to swap or sell may register to participate in the Ice Rink Committee’s Skate Swap, held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on November 6, at the Riley Park Ice Rink and Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion.
“Until the rink has a skate rental program in place, this is a great alternative to make sure that kids get skates for the season,” Melissa Andrade, Riley Park Ice Rink Committee member, said in a press release. “It’ll be a great way to meet neighbors and friends, while taking care of the needs of those who grew out of a pair of skates.”
Gently used equipment should be clean and ready for use by their next owner. Skate donations are also welcome; the committee would like to have some on hand for skaters to borrow.
To participate in the event, register at Farmington City Hall by calling 248-474- 5500, ext. 2221; or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scarecrows representing “The Wizard of Oz,” “Minions,” “Charlotte’s Web”, and “Forrest Gump” emerged as winners from among about 40 entires in this year’s Farmington Beautification Committee’s scarecrow-building contest.
This year’s theme, “Farmington Goes to the Movies”, was represented among the following winners:
Adult: 1st – Mike Zachos, “The Tin Man”; 2nd – Sean Murphy and Courtney Showalter, “Nightmare Before Christmas”; 3rd – Tim Roberts, “Laurel and Hardy”.
Business/Group: 1st – City of Farmington Clerk and Treasurer, “Forrest Gump”; 2nd – Botsford Commons Independent Community, “Up”; 3rd – Riley Park Ice Rink, “Snoopy”.
Event chairperson Larry Kilner said judges were impressed with the originality of ideas and the uniqueness of materials used.
“It is very rewarding to see neighbors, scout troops, businesses, and individuals building civic awareness and at the same time having fun and contributing to the community,” he said, adding appreciation for all of the entries and community support. “The local business really stepped up. They donated about a thousand dollars worth of prizes.”
The Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market kicks off its first annual cultural heritage celebration October 8, recognizing October as Polish national heritage month.
“Roll Out the Market” will feature live music, authentic foods, craft beer, costumed dancers, kid’s activities and much more happening alongside the weekly market, which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park.
Father Krzysztof Nowak of St. Gerald’s Catholic Church, who recently arrived in Michigan from Poland, will open the market with a special blessing and ringing of the market bell. The famed Zamek Dance Troupe will appear in full costume, performing choreographed dance and will also host a children’s activity, crafting “Wianicks” a traditional European flower crown.
Authentic Polish fare available at the Market will include pierogi, potato pancakes, grilled Polish sausage and stuffed cabbage. Baked offerings include angel wings, almond rolls, poppyseed rolls, dark rye breads and more.
The Farmington Brewing Company joins the market for the day, debuting its “Piwo,” a traditional polish light beer brewed with smoked wheat. Beer service will begin at 11 a.m., along with the start of live music with The Kielbasa Kings.
Market Manager Walt Gajewski credits volunteers Micki Skrzycki, Mike Kunz and Mary Burck for inspiring the day.
“Events like this really showcase the festive nature of our weekly farmer’s market, while the market volunteers are a true reflection of what we call Saturday life in a Michigan small town,” he said. “This will be a crazy fun day in Farmington.”
Full Tilt Boogie, a Detroit restaurant chef, and more awaits visitors to Saturday’s Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market, held rain or shine at the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park.
Razor Ray and T Bone make up the Full Tilt Boogie Blues Band, which will perform at 10 a.m. The Chef Demo, which begins at 11 a.m., will feature Kate Williams from Lady of the House, a restaurant opening this year in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
Downtown Farmington goes to the dogs September 25, as Bark in the Park returns for a third year in the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park.
Organizer Vera Lucksted said this year’s event, held from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., will include raffles, give-aways, group walks, and even more opportunities to adopt a new best friend. Three rescue organizations – Midwest Beagle Rescue, Louis’ Legacy, and Home Furever – will participate. Also, students from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology in Farmington Hills plan to interview pet owners, in connection with a grant project.
“It’s really nice to have an educational component this year,” Lucksted said.
Participating vendors include Browndog Creamery & Dessert Bar, which will offer their dog-friendly “Flash’s Favorite” flavor. And group walks, including one led by the Farmington Area Jaycees, will offer an opportunity for dog owners to tour downtown Farmington.
“For people who are new to the community, it gives them a chance to check out the downtown, and see what’s available,” Lucksted said.
Well-behaved dogs and their owners are welcome, retractable leashes, which present a tripping hazard, are not. The event happens rain or shine. Learn more: facebook.com/events/1136347463122839/.
“We’re excited to be back, and to have dogs back in town,” Lucksted said.
News from the heart of Farmington and Farmington Hills, Michigan