Celebrate Oxford Festival Returns; Check Out the 2012 Schedule
Annual event returns, bigger and better than ever.
It's going to be awesome in Oxford this weekend, as the Downtown Development Authority gets ready to "Celebrate Oxford" Aug. 3-5.
"(It's) easily the biggest event of the year," says Madonna Van Fossen, director of the Oxford DDA, and a beloved celebration of "a small town with a vibrant downtown DDA district."
Once known as Oxford Days, the festival has been staged for more than 20 years. The focus used to be more on history, but it's evolved and 2012's offering will truly have something for everyone.
Guests can expect a few changes this year, including its expansion. Now it's three days instead of one.
There will be entertainment downtown -- music, arts, food, crafts and more -- geared for all ages, but each day has a theme, too: Friday's is Arts and Entertainment; Saturday is Family, Food and Fun; and Sunday is History, Horses and Pets.
Celebrate Oxford is free to attend, but there is a charge for food and drink, plus some of the activities -- the 5K, the helicopter rides, face painting and more.
The festival also coincides with the 1st Friday program -- where there will be art on display, the high school drama club will take to the streets to entertain the crowds; plus, restaurants and shops will have specials and themes to tempt visitors. (In this case the theme is "American Hometown Local Food.")
Plus, Julianne Ankley, winner of the 2012 Detroit Music Awards "Outstanding Country Recording" for her song "Vivid," will perform from 7-9 p.m. Friday in Centennial Park.
Here's a breakdown of what's happening all three days:
Friday, Aug. 3
It's time for 1st Friday fun and the kick-off of Celebrate Oxford festivities, 5-9 p.m.
The theme for 1st Friday is "American Hometown Local Food," and Celebrate Oxford's theme is ""Arts & Entertainment." Enjoy artists selling their wares; performers; restaurants will offer specials; and retailers will be open later and offer special promotions. Plus, Ankley will perform at 7 p.m. in Centennial Park, and the beer tent will be open from 5-11 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 4
Celebrate Oxford is held from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. The theme is "Family, Food and Fun." Downtown will feature several "zones" geared to kids and teens. Families can explore local businesses and organizations. Entertainment will be ongoing throughout downtown. Seniors who need to take a break can stop at the Veterans Hall, located at 28 N. Washington.
5K Run/Walk and Junior Cross Country Mile: Open registration will be held from 5-9 p.m. Aug. 3 in Centennial Park. The race begins at 9 a.m. and there are two courses, one for the 5K and the other for the juniors. Cost is $25 for adults, or for the junior race, $15 for ages 13 and younger. To register or learn more, visit Celebrate Oxford's link or click on Run Michigan's site.
Taste of Oxford will be held Saturday in Centennial Park, and beer tents will be set up from noon-11 p.m. to quench adult thirsts.
At the Centennial Park Gazebo guests can enjoy:
- 10-11 a.m.: Deejay music
- 11-11:05 a.m.: Oxford Cheer Team
- 11:05-11:30 a.m.: Awards for the 5K Run/Walk
- 11:30 a.m.-noon: Suzuki Stringers
- 12:30-1 p.m.: Deejay music
- 1-1:30 p.m.: Studio 8 Dance Team
- 1:30-2 p.m.: Sweetapple Family Singers
- 2-2:30 p.m.: PKSA Karate
- 2:30-4 p.m.: Johnna & the D Notes will play pop-rock music
- 4-5 p.m.: Deejay music
- 5-6 p.m.: Ambience String Quartet
- 6-7 p.m.: Deejay music
Classic Car Show: This will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on West Burdick Street, and spill over onto Hudson.
Kidz Town: This will be set up behind the Funky Monkey toy store, in the Northwest Parking Lot, where youngsters can partake in activities and crafts. Magic shows, dance and karate demonstrations, plus a visit from the fire department are planned. Helicopter rides also will be offered all day, behind the Fire Station, near the Main Stage in Kidz Town.
- 10-10:30 a.m. Andrea Hardy will sing the "Star-Spangled Banner," followed by deejay music.
- 10:30-11 a.m.: Oxford Academy of Dance will perform.
- 11-11:30 a.m.: Bryant's Karate
- 11:30 a.m.-noon: Laugh Yoga, with Collette Curtis
- Noon-1 p.m.: Deejay music
- 1-1:30 p.m. Magic and puppet shows by Eugene Clark
- 1:30-2 p.m.: PKSA Karate
- 2-2:30 p.m.: Deejay music
- 2:30-3 p.m.: Sweetapple Family Singers
- 3-:30-4 p.m.: Studio 8 Dance Team
- 4-4:30 p.m.: Magic and puppet shows, Eugene Clark
- 4:30-5 p.m.: Laugh Yoga, with Collette Curtis
- 5-5:30 p.m.: Deejay music
- 5:30-6 p.m.: Magic and puppet shows, Eugene Clark
- 6-7 pm.: Deejay music
Teen Zone: This will be set up in the Northeast Parking Lot, behind Red Knapp's restaurant. Teens can enjoy the skateboard park, bungee trampoline, and a basketball competiton hosted by the Detroit Pistons Flight Crew. There will be crafts and music, too.
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: OHS football team dunk tank
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Skate and bike park
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Tie-dyeing T-shirts
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Deejay music
- 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: OHS soccer team
- Noon-1 p.m.: OHS robotics club
- 2-4 p.m.: Pistons Hooper and The Flight Crew
- 2-4 p.m.: OHS basketball team
- 5-5:30 p.m. OHS dance team
Oxford Chamber of Commerce Business Expo: This takes place on East Burdick Street, east of Washington Street (M-24). Chamber members will display products and offer information, and Business Bingo will be ongoing all day.
Oxford Women's Clubs Arts, Crafts and Exhibits: This will be set up east of the Business Expo tent, at Mill and Burdick, and extending into Mill Street. A variety of artisans will sell unique items, and "home businesses" such as Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and more will also be set up here.
Civil War Re-enactment: This will be set up on the Oxford Bank property, east of M-24. A schedule will be posted on site.
Sunday, Aug. 5
The festival continues from noon-5 p.m., and the theme is "History, Horses and Pets."
Historic Home Tour: This makes a return after a few years' absence. Visitors will be able to take a self-guided tour of six homes, one business and one church, from 1-5 p.m., for $15; tickets will be sold at several locations in town. For those who really want to get historical, they canopt to take horse-drawn carriage rides from location to location.
Equestrian Corridor: This will be held in the parking lot east of the Southeast Parking Lot, on Mill between E. Burdick and Stanton. There, the "Hall of Breeds" will showcase several horse breeds, and guests can enjoy demonstrations and learn about training methods. Equestrian vendors will also set up shop, and kids can get up close and personal at the petting zoo or enjoy a pony ride. From 12:30-1 p.m. there will be an Equestrian Fashion Show at Centennial Park.
Pets in the Park: Everyone is invited to bring their pets to Centennial Park and stroll through "Pet Alley," where vendors will sell gifts, services and products. Demonstrations will be ongoing, and there will be a Pet Parade, too. (To register your pet, click here.)
Activity will take place all day in Centennial Park, including:
- Noon-12:30 p.m.: Deejay music
- 12:30- 1 p.m.: Equestrian Fashion Show
- 1-2 p.m.: Deejay music
- 2-2:30 p.m.: Sweetapple Family Singers
- 2-3:30 p.m.: Deejay music and pet vendor demonstration
- 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Pet Parade, and a visit from the mayor of Oxford
- 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Deejay music
To learn more about Celebrate Oxford, as well as access maps and more, visit celebrateoxford.com