By Jim Newell
The 19th annual Lake Orion Flower & Art Fair returns to the village this weekend with 111 vendors, the scents of spring and the perfect opportunity to find a special gift for Mom.
The fair, organized and run by the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority (DDA), is from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Pam Belding, DDA event coordinator who organized this year’s fair, said it’s a great opportunity to showcase the downtown businesses and shop, especially on Mother’s Day weekend.
“It’s the biggest Flower Fair yet. It’s fun because it’s the first festival of the season and you get to get out and see the businesses and new friends and old friends while supporting the downtown and being a part of the experience that is Lake Orion,” Belding said.
In previous years the Flower Fair has attracted 4,000-5,000 visitors, with as many as 6,000 people attending.
“We do have more flower vendors this year selling everything from flowers, hanging baskets, succulents and vegetables, as well as glass, metal and stone garden art,” Belding said. “The fair showcases the best that Lake Orion has to offer. We are friendly, we are outgoing and Lake Orion says ‘Yes’ to welcoming people to our downtown.”
There will be live entertainment, with 18 musical acts from throughout the community performing in the Children’s Park gazebo over two days.
“Most of the performers are from Lake Orion, or Michigan, and guests will get to see the incredible talent this area has,” Belding said.
Besides flower and garden goods, vendors will be selling arts and crafts, glassware, jewelry, home improvement goods, baked goods and sweet treats.
Lockhart’s BBQ and the Orion Art Center once again host the Beer Garden in the Flint Street alleyway, from 3-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds benefit the Art Center.
Restaurant staff from Oat Soda, opening later this summer, will be selling old-fashioned lemonade with proceeds benefiting Lake Orion Parks & Rec., Belding said.
Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, will attend a red-carpet ribbon cutting at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the “award-winning” Flint Street alleyway, said DDA Executive Director Molly LaLone. Salort-Pons will lead a walking tour of Lake Orion to discuss the DIA Inside Out art exhibits throughout the downtown.
State Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-12th District), 46th district state representative candidate Jody LaMacchia, Lake Orion Village Council members and DDA board members will also attend, LaLone said.
During the fair, Broadway Street will be closed from M-24 to Shadbolt Street. Flint Street will be closed from Anderson Street to Lapeer Street. Roads close at 5 a.m. on Friday and will reopen at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Front Street will have restricted access for residents and those picking up items from vendors and downtown businesses only, Belding said.
Genisys Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of the fair, and The Lake Orion Review, Home Depot, M&B Graphics, 20 Front Street and ABeanToGo are sponsors.
Visit www.downtownlakeorion.org for a schedule of performers and additional information.
By Jim Newell