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Farmington Founders Festival in Downtown Farmington

Kids fun, a family stage, the Rock-N-Roll K-9's dogs, outdoor movies, circus delights, a parade and more are in store July 18-21, 2013

Toss the classic parent warning aside. Kids are actually urged to "go play in the streets" during the Downtown Farmington Founders Festival, returning to Oakland County July 18-21, 2013. But no need to fret. That's because the cars are being rerouted – and family fun takes over Grand River Avenue. Most events happen Friday and Saturday, but there's some bonus family fun Thursday and Sunday, too.

The 2013 event, which marks year No. 49, rolls out a few fresh activities prime for the kiddos. Get a load of the Rock-N-Roll K-9's Performance Team, a crew of canines that do neat feats to cool tunes (10 a.m.-8 p.m. both days at Wags-n-Whiskers Land in Memorial Park). Magician Gordon Russ amazes with a pair of Friday shows (10-10:45 a.m. and 12:30-1:15 p.m.). And Photosoniq Photobooth, stocked with fun backdrops galore, offers a great chance to capture you and the fam in memorable digital pix.

Friday night, be sure to bring your blankets and chairs to Shiawassee Park for an outdoor showing of the animated Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph. Concessions are available for a donation. It's playing 9:30-11 p.m.

Saturday's big parade is a definite highlight – with none other than Batman and Robin serving as honorary grand marshals! It ties in with this year's "Cartoons and Comic Books" theme. The spectacle steps off from Power Road and Grand River Avenue at 9:40 a.m., arriving downtown at 10 a.m. Watch for 70 acts of entertainment, including the Botsford Band-Aid Brigade and other floats, community and civic organizations and more.

Oh, and hey: On Saturday, keep an eye out for the Metro Parent table, too. We'll be making crafts with the kiddos all day long!

Both Friday and Saturday, kids' fun rules over at the Meijer Go PlayGround. This kids' zone, at Riley Park, features Detroit Circus shows, a princess party and Farmington Idol (the aforementioned magician performs in this area, too). Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and admission is free.

Nighttime music is in store for older kids and parents, too, including Trilogy (which kicks off the event early on Thursday, July 18), Fifty Amp Fuse (Friday) and Killer Flamingos (Sunday). Those shows are 7-11 p.m.

Also, Thursday-Saturday, there's an ice cream social over at First United Methodist Church: It's 6-8 p.m. Thursday and noon-8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Other unique community fun includes a Growers Only Market (8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday), Founders Festival Book Sale (10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday) and Founders Festival Four-Mile Run (Saturday morning).

Still haven't had your fill? Come back to Shiawassee Park for yet another bonus day – Sunday, July 21 – featuring the ninth annual Duck Race, complete with samples from Hudsonville Ice Cream and Basement Burger Bar (it runs 3-5 p.m.).

For more basic info about the 2013 Farmington Founders Festival in downtown Farmington, check out the Metro Parent calendar listing.

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