Courtney Austin of the 21st Century Kids of Franklin after-school program hands a candy cane to Abigail Toothaker, 5, during the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
FARMINGTON — Hundreds took in the 41st annual Chester Greenwood Day celebration Saturday as dozens of floats representing “Favorite Childhood Toy” paraded through the downtown.
After the parade, local historian Paul Mills read a proclamation recognizing Chester Greenwood. Greenwood, a Farmington resident, was the inventor of earmuffs in the early 20th century, and the annual celebration is on his birthday.
When they weren’t watching the parade, people had the opportunity to do their Christmas shopping at one of several craft fairs in town. The American Legion Craft Fair at the Legion hall featured two floors of crafts, while the Franklin County Arts & Crafts Association Annual Craft Fair packed the University of Maine at Farmington Student Center with local crafters.
Many colorful and creative gingerbread houses were on display in the annual Gingerbread House Contest at Bangor Savings Bank. Those attending could enjoy a piece of cake in honor of Chester Greenwood.
People who purchased a $5 passport could take part in the “Taste of Farmington.” They could be seen visiting participating establishments for samples of food.
The Titcomb House held an open house, and was decorated for the occasion by the Mt. Blue Garden Club. Christmas wreath sales took place all day, author Guy Rioux signed a book he wrote on the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad, and the Merry Plinksters entertained with music.
The Octagon House had wreaths for sale, music by Leanne Tinker, light refreshments, Gould family displays, and holiday storytelling and readings. The Pierce House offered a display of memorabilia pertaining to the Greenwood family, old-fashioned refreshments and cookie-decorating.
For those brave enough, the 31st Annual Polar Bear Dip at the breakwater on Clearwater Pond was an opportunity for a refreshing if somewhat chilly venture. Spectators laughed and applauded as the polar dippers took the plunge.
Throughout the day, the Farmington Rotary Club’s Festival of Trees took place at the Farmington Community Center. People had the chance to place bids on the trees decorated by the Rotary youth groups. The trees were auctioned off in the evening.
In the afternoon, horse-drawn wagon rides were offered courtesy of Narrow Gauge Cinemas. As night fell, an “Itty Bitty” tree lighting took place at Franklin Savings Bank, with hot chocolate, popcorn and live music by Mark Gentle, a country music singer and songwriter from Farmington.
The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Chester Greenwood Day festivities.
Chester Greenwood Day parade award-winners:
* Adult, 1st place, University Credit Union; 2nd place, RSU 9; 3rd place, Barclay’s;
* Youth, 1st place, Girl Scout Troop 486; 2nd place, Franklin County Children’s Task Force; 3rd place, Mallett School.
Ivey Rackliff, 9, of Farmington lines up for the Chester Greenwood parade with her Girl Scout troop from Temple on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Mount Blue High School junior Sam Smith roller skis with members of the Farmington Area Ski Team (FAST) during the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Mark Fish of New Vineyard and his daughters Olivia, 6, and Nora, 2, wait for the Chester Greenwood parade to begin in Farmington on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Abigail Toothaker, 5, gets excited as the Chester Greenwood parade makes its way through downtown Farmington on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Pam Dixon of Vienna talks with her 5-year-old son, Alex, while getting ready for the start of the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Margaret Bremner, 5, of Farmington listens to Mary-Sue Hayden read “Earmuffs for Everyone!” at the Octagon House in Farmington on Saturday. Hayden was one of the volunteers hosting the Octagon House open house during Chester Greenwood Day. Bremner is a first-grade student at the W.G. Mallett School, the elementary school where Hayden taught for 33 years. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Derek Chiodi of New Portland watches the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)