Oxford Backyards & Burgers Festival

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Burgers and a carnival: What better ways to welcome summer in southeast Michigan? Downtown Oxford hosts both, for a second year in a row, at Oxford Backyards & Burgers – a four-day blowout with rides, games, a burger contest, DIY presentations and other activities for every age group.

The carnival itself will be set up in the southeast parking lot again this year, at the corner of Mill and Burdick streets. It's set to run May 17-20, 2012.

Also returning to the downtown event is "The Best Burger in Oxford" face-off. But the contest rules have been slightly amended to include any type of burger that a restaurant would like to submit – not just the traditional hamburger!

Along with four secret judges, the general public gets to participate in the contest. When you order a featured burger at a participating restaurant, you can fill out a ballot rating it. The ballots will be collected on Friday, and the winner will be announced on Saturday in Centennial Park at 1:30 p.m.

Three retailers within the Downtown Development Authority also are hosting DIY activities for gardeners and families to enjoy on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Burdick Street Landscape Supply & Equipment is presenting a session about power tools in the garden, along with serving pizza supplied by Jet's Pizza. Oxford Paint and Hardware's activity features a demonstration by Weber Grills and free hot dogs. And Oxford Home, Garden and Pet will show mom and dad how to build a chicken coop – while the kids enjoy pony rides for just $1.

In addition to the DIY demonstrations, be sure to catch other fun activities and crafts for kids on Saturday in Centennial Park – including Chris Linn, America's Magical Funnyman, and a story time at the Oxford Public Library. Plus, teens can ride at a skate park behind the Oxford Bank noon-7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

Thirsty parents also can enjoy the Oxford Tap Beer Tent from noon till 11 p.m. There will be a DJ on Friday and entertainment provided by Caribbean Blue 9-11 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets can purchased be online, via the event's website, for $15 – or at the carnival for $20. The carnival will run on the following days and times:

  • Thursday: 4-11 p.m.
  • Friday: 4-11 p.m.
  • Saturday: noon-11 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1-8 p.m.

So what're you waiting for? As the event organizers put it, "Bring your buns downtown!"

See the Metro Parent listing for more on the Oxford Backyards & Burgers.

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