Wiard's Orchards Country Fair

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This fun event is happening every Saturday and Sunday from 10am - 6pm at Wiard's Orchards in Ypsilanti. The Country Fair is a fun, fall "carnival atmosphere" filled with events for the whole family. Go for a pony ride or hay ride, visit the petting farm, hear live music and get lost in the corn maze, just to name a few. And when you're tired of having fun- relax and enjoy doughnuts, caramel apples and fresh cider! And don't forget to pick out apples and pumpkins to take home!
Wiard's Orchards, 5565 Merrit Road, Ypsilanti, Admission $10.50, $8 after 4:30, Under 2 get in free.

TweenSpace: Wacky Olympics @ Malletts Creek, Tuesday, October 9

Attention all 4th and 5th graders! Do you have what it takes to lead your team to victory in a marshmallow relay race? Can you build the ultimate obstacle course? Join us Tuesday, October 9th (4:30-6:00), to show off your athletic skills at the Malletts Creek Branch.

TweenSpace: Mystery Quest @ Malletts Creek, Tuesday, October 2

Calling all gumshoes! Join us Tuesday afternoon (4:30-6:00 pm) at the Malletts Creek branch to practice your detective skills. Look for clues to solve a mystery, test your observational skills, and hang out with other kids. If you've loved mystery/detective books like The Westing Game, Harriet the Spy, and Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, you won't want to miss this! For 4th and 5th graders.

Gimme Shelter!

Support IHN at Alpha House this year at their annual fundraising event. There promises to be fantastic food and items to bid on. The local Bluegrass group The RFD Boys will perform so get ready to boogie. Read how homelessness shaped America in Citizen Hobo or a local perspective from Joan Kaldri Zald’s Portraits of Homelessness. Speaking of local homelessness, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population is children. The Education Project for Homeless Youth serves Washtenaw County children who become or are homeless. Read their website to see how you may help. It’s often hard to grasp that there are homeless children enrolled in many Ann Arbor Public Schools and across Washtenaw County as well.

Super Smash and Mario Kart Tournament Extravaganza!

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The 2007 Super Smash Double Dash Championship season returns to the downtown library this weekend with a Smash & Dash filled couple of days for players of all ages! It all begins with a Super Smash Bros. Melee Regulation Throwdown for ages 13+, this Friday, 9/28, from 6:00 - 8:45 PM. With no items, only neutral stages, and a focus on 1v1, this is your chance to put your skills to a pure test of mettle. See here for our regulation-style ruleset. We'll then continue with Round 2 of the Championship Season for grades 6-12 on Saturday, 9/29, from Noon - 5 PM. Can Clan US continue their smash dominance? Can the Brothers of Maplewood win another mystery clan battle? Come downtown and find out! Then, we'll wrap up the weekend with a Mario Kart Tournament for grades 5 and under, Sunday, 9/30, from 1:00 - 4:00 PM.

Ann Arbor Sunday Artisan Market

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This Sunday, September 30 there will some extra vendors at the popular weekly Ann Arbor Artisan Market. There will be 30 Etsy artists/ sellers from Michigan set up at the event selling handmade wares they they normally sell online in their Etsy shop. (Not familiar with Etsy? It’s an online source for buying and selling handmade items. Makers from around the world set up and manage their own shop and buyers can browse through various search engines to find a huge variety of handmade goods.) Etsy at the Market takes place at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market in Kerrytown from 11-4pm. A few stand out artists worth checking out are Oh My Cavalier and Rainy Prints. Get shopping! Buy local! Buy handmade!

Feeling Foolish?

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Street Theater Art (START) Project co-creators Shoshana Hurand and Mark Tucker are throwing a big, silly party this Thursday to kick off preparations for Festifools 2008! This year they have a spacious new studio in the UM Campus Security Services Building (room 1309). Festifools 2007 was a huge success—the project combined the efforts of UM students and volunteers from throughout the community to create enormous Mardi Gras-style puppets that were marched through the streets of Ann Arbor on April Fools’ Day. Photos of the event will be on display at the open house, which runs from 5-7pm.

Photo by Myra Klarman, used with permission.

Creative Connections Tonight!

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Do you make art, perform plays, write poetry, or otherwise behave creatively? Tonight’s your night to mingle! The Ann Arbor Arts Alliance is sponsoring its first Creative Connections of the season at the Ann Arbor Art Center’s Art Factory on Felch St. from 6:30-8:00pm. Creative Connections takes place on the third Monday of the month, and provides an opportunity for individuals involved in Arts and Culture in Washtenaw County to network in a relaxed, informal way. The focus of tonight’s event is the launch of ArtsCount, a county-wide artist census. Grab a glass of wine and start connecting!

Exploring Anxiety

A few months ago, I read a fascinating book by Allen Shawn, brother of the actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, called Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life. Though a successful professor and composer, Shawn faces debilitating anxiety when crossing bridges, walking across parking lots, navigating shopping malls, and generally encountering new situations. Despite his ability to intellectually comprehend his predicament, Shawn remains, to some extent, ensnared by his fears.

Do these limitations imposed by anxiety and fear sound familiar? Next Tuesday, September 25 in the Downtown Library’s Multipurpose Room, Bright Nights Community Forum will attempt to explore anxiety disorders such as Shawn’s, and perhaps offer some relief. A panel of medical professionals from UM’s Depression Center will discuss recent findings related to anxiety, panic and phobia, and how these conditions relate to depression. Following the talk, there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month on this site for kids--enlightening for grown-ups as well! There are some exciting local events beginning this week-end to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Fun for the whole family is Gran Noche Mexicana in Ypsilanti. Also this week-end, performing in Detroit, the talented Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Feel like staying in and having a private salsa or merengue fiesta? Check out Baila! A Latin Dance Party!

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