Franklin Countys First News

Chester Greenwood Day bringing parade, events to downtown

Chester Greenwood, played each year by Clyde Ross, at left, and Town Manager Richard Davis wave to the crowd from the Chamber's float to start off last year's Chester Greenwood Day parade.

"Chester Greenwood" and Town Manager Richard Davis wave to the crowd from the Chamber's float to start a previous year's Chester Greenwood Day parade.

FARMINGTON - The 41st annual celebration of Chester Greenwood Day will bring parades, special sales, food and fun to the downtown this Saturday, with events beginning as early as 8 a.m.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce will present the celebration of Chester Greenwood, Farmington native and earmuff inventor. The parade will begin lining up at 10 a.m. at W.G. Mallett School's Quebec Street entrance and head through the downtown at 11 a.m. This year's theme is "Favorite Childhood Toy," with prizes available for the first, second and third place adult floats as well as the first and second prizes for youth organization floats. Earmuffs are - of course - required.

The entire day is a celebration of Greenwood, a 19th century Farmington native and inventor, who is credited with inventing the earmuff. The State of Maine declared Dec. 21 to be Chester Greenwood Day in 1977. In Farmington, organizers would later hold the parade and other events on the first Saturday of the month; that day falls closer to Greenwood's birthday of Dec. 4, and also allows attendees a better chance at warm weather.

Following the parade, a flag raising ceremony will take place at the Franklin County Courthouse. Parade winners will be announced at that time and a Chester Greenwood birthday cake will be served after the parade at Bangor Savings Bank.

Meanwhile, a number of local businesses will be holding special events and promotions. The Taste of Farmington Passport will be available for $5, allowing holders to try samples and tastings at a number of local restaurants from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., such as The Roost, Tuck’s Ale House, Farmington House of Pizza, The Homestead, Thai Smile & Sushi Restaurant, Dunkin Donuts and Uno Mas. Passports are available at the Chamber office or Federal Credit Union or on Chester Greenwood Day at the Chamber’s Chester Greenwood Day information booth in downtown Farmington.

Bangor Savings Bank will be hosting its 9th annual Gingerbread House Contest from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., with entries accepted between 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at the bank's Main Street location. Forms available online at www.franklincountymaine.org. Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges and prizes awarded for kids (12 & under) and adult categories. The bank will also host a number of other attractions from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. including a hot cocoa bar, sand art and a Coats for Kids collection box. Chamber Bucks will be available for sale all day.

Open houses will be held at a number of locations, including the Pierce House, which will hold its annual open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Old fashioned goodies will be available, including popcorn balls, cookie decorating, hot chocolate, cider, etc. Tours will be offered and memorabilia will be on display.

The Titcomb House at the corner of Academy and High will also be open, having been decorated by Mt. Blue Garden Club. A Christmas Wreath Sale will be held all day long, with a book signing by Narrow Gauge Railroad Books author Guy Rioux. The Merry Plinksters will perform at 1 p.m. Attendees are invited to browse the Farmington History displays.

The Octagon House at the corner of Perham and Broadway will also be offering wreaths for sale. The house will host music by Leanne Tinker, light refreshments, Gould Family Displays, holiday storytelling and readings from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

The Rotary will hold its annual Festival of Trees at the Farmington Community Center this year. The auction begins at 6:30 p.m., but the raffle and hot chocolate will be available all day. Meanwhile, the 31st annual Polar Bear Dip will take place at Clearwater Lake in Industry, as members take their annual dip into the frigid lake.

The schedule of Chester Greenwood Day festivities is as follows:

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. - Thrifty Santa Toy Sale. At Old South--235 Main Street. "Good-as-new" toys at very affordable prices. Items range from puzzles & books to dolls, bikes & winter outdoor fun.

8 a.m. to 1 p.m - Cookie Walk & White Elephant Sale. At Henderson Memorial Baptist Church, 110 Academy St. Farmington. Purchase a hand-decorated coffee can and fill it up with a variety of homemade cookies. Check out lightly-used Christmas decorations and other items for sale at the White Elephant Sale.

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. - 9th Annual Gingerbread House Contest. Entries may be dropped off at Bangor Savings Bank, Main St, Downtown Farmington between 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. The gingerbread houses will be on display for public viewing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges and prizes awarded for kids (12 & under) and adult categories. This year’s theme is “Favorite Childhood Toy” so find a way to tie it in! Pre-registration required. Forms available online at www.franklincountymaine.org

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Hot Cocoa Bar, Sand Art, Cake, Coats for Kids, Gingerbread House Contest and Chamber Bucks for sale at Bangor Savings Bank

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - American Legion Craft Fair. At the Farmington American Legion. Two Floors of Crafts and a large Luncheon Menu.

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Franklin County Arts & Crafts Association Annual Craft Fair. At the University of Maine at Farmington Student Center, Farmington. Find the perfect locally-made gift from a huge assortment of arts and crafts!

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Open Houses:

The Titcomb House - (corner of Academy and High Streets) will be decorated by Mt. Blue Garden Club. The events of the day are: Christmas Wreath Sales all day long, with Book Signing of Narrow Gauge Railroad books author Guy Rioux and The Merry Plinksters to perform at 1:00. We invite people to browse the Farmington History displays.

The Octagon House - (Corner of Perham and Broadway) Wreaths for sale. Music by Leanne Tinker, light refreshments, Gould Family Displays, Holiday Storytelling and readings from 12-1pm.

10 a.m. - Parade Line-Up at Mallet School in Farmington the Quebec St. entrance. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. Theme is “Favorite Childhood Toy.” Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place adult floats and 1st & 2nd overall youth organization float.

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Coats for Kids. Drop off gently used coats at Franklin Savings Bank beginning on Chester Greenwood Day & running through Dec.

10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  - Rotary’s Festival of Trees. The Festival of Trees will be held at the Farmington Community Center with local musical groups, hot chocolate and raffle chances all day. Tree auction begins at 6:30 p.m.

11 a.m. - Parade Begins! Parade will occur rain, snow, or shine, throughout downtown Farmington. Entries for the parade can begin lining up in the Mallett School Parking lot (Quebec St. entrance) by 10 a.m. Judging of floats will be conducted en route this year, so the crowd can plan to find a panel of local judges stationed outside the Franklin Savings Bank Loan Center on Main St. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Adult (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) and Youth Organization (1st and 2nd). Parade winners will be announced at the Flag Raising Ceremony. Please note candy throwing will be permitted by individuals walking along the parade route only – not from the floats themselves, for safety reasons. Pre-registration is not required. Registration forms and event rules are posted online at www.franklincountymaine.org. This year’s theme is “Favorite Childhood Toy” so find a way to tie it in don’t forget to incorporate earmuffs onto each float, it’s required!

Flag raising ceremony will take place at the Franklin County Courthouse after the parade. A special Chester Greenwood Flag will be raised in celebration of this day. Chester Greenwood birthday cake will be served after the parade at Bangor Savings Bank.

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Luncheon at Henderson Memorial Baptist Church- 110 Academy St., Farmington.

12 p.m. to 2 p.m. -  Coat & Cupboard. Open House offers a free coats, hats, and ski pants, as well as boots and blankets. A project of Old South church's youth group, "Coat & Cupboard" is located in the rear of the Holman Mission House, 227 Main Street. We'll also have free hot chocolate and baked goods to enjoy.

12 p.m. to 3 p.m. - Taste of Farmington. Present your Taste of Farmington Passport to participating eateries and enjoy a sample of what they have to offer. Passports are limited! Buy your passport now at the Chamber office or at Franklin-Somerset Federal Credit Union or on Chester Greenwood Day at the Chamber’s Chester Greenwood Day information booth in downtown Farmington. Participating restaurants are The Roost, Tuck’s Ale House, Farmington House of Pizza, The Homestead, Thai Smile & Sushi Restaurant, Dunkin Donuts and Uno Mas.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - Open House - The Pierce House will have memorabilia pertaining to the Greenwoods on display. Old fashioned refreshments and cookie decorating.

3 p.m. - 31st Annual Polar Bear Dip. At the breakwater on Clearwater Lake, Industry. Members take an annual dip into the frigid Clearwater Lake in Industry, always a crowd pleaser! Dip if you dare!

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Santa Visit. Franklin Savings Bank lawn, 198 Front Street, Santa will be listening to wishes from his sleigh. Be sure to bring your camera! Sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank and Western Mountain Financial Services.

4 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides. Courtesy of Narrow Gauge Cinemas.

5 p.m. - “Itty Bitty” Tree Lighting. With hot chocolate, popcorn & live music by Mark Gentle at 198 Front Street. Sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank and Western Mountain Financial Services

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6 Responses »

  1. For a few "sneak peek" photos of the items available at Saturday's Thrifty Santa toy sale, visit the Old South First Congregational Church Facebook page. We have hundreds of items available -- ranging from infant items to bikes, books, and educational toys. Many items are priced at $3 or less! Sale hours: 8 am to 10 am.

  2. Taste of Farmington Passports, Chester Greenwood t-shirts and the schedule of events will be available on Chester Greenwood Day at the Chamber information booth on the Pierce House lawn across from Franklin Savings Bank.

  3. Is there a fee to do the polar bear dip? I have a group of kids that want to do it but I'm not sure what they need to be a "member" of?? Do they need to sign up ahead of time? Is there a fee?

  4. There is no fee for the polar bear dip. Show up and be brave enough to jump in!

  5. Just a footnote, Mark Gentle will start playing prior to 5 p.m., probably closer to 4:30. Come early and enjoy S'mores at the firepit with us!

  6. Happy Chester Greenwood's Day 2017

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