Chandler Clark, 4, looks down the Chester Greenwood Day parade route Saturday morning with his aunt, Heidi Hedstrom. Chandler’s earmuffs were originally worn by Hedstrom in 1989 when she marched for George H.W. Bush’s inauguration with the Mt. Blue High School marching band.

FARMINGTON — Earmuffs of all shapes, goofiness and character attended the 42nd annual Chester Greenwood Day celebration — including a pair that paraded during the inauguration of the late President George H.W. Bush in January 1989.

Heidi Hedstrom, then a member of the Mt. Blue High School marching band, remembers stepping onto Pennsylvania Avenue and hearing directions to “spread out.”

“We were so small,” she said, describing the size of the Farmington band, “and we had to fill Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Hedstrom, playing bass guitar, participated in the parade with her brother Ryan Hedstrom, who was on trombone. The band had won the 1988 state championship and would have represented Maine during the inauguration parade, but because President Bush owned a house in Kennebunkport, the Kennebunkport team was selected to attend.

“We could still go,” Hedstrom said, “but we had to find a way to get there.”


The effort united the community around Farmington as students, their families and supporters pitched in to raise money to send the Mt. Blue band to Washington D.C. “And we got there.”

Participating in the parade was “incredible,” Hedstrom said, but she didn’t see President Bush. For security, no one in the parade could look away from the parade route, tip an instrument in the new president’s direction or point.

“I could see the stadium where he was out of the corner of my eye,” Hedstrom said.

To keep the ears of the band members warm, an earmuff supplier in the Southwest outfitted the band with earmuffs in Mt. Blue’s colors, blue and gold. There at the Chester Greenwood Day nearly 30 years later, Hedstrom’s nephew, 4-year-old Chandler Clark, wore the earmuffs.

Earmuff enthusiasts of all generations attended the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce festival. Ed and Jan Lewis of Farmington have attended the event every year since its inception. This year they watched their parade with family members, including four great-grandsons ages 2 to 7.

The couple felt that the increase in size of the celebration has been most notable. “It’s done so much for the town,” Jan Lewis said.


The celebration pays tribute to Chester Greenwood, a local man credited for inventing the earmuff. Families, dogs and even a rabbit sporting a sweater attended the celebration. The Farmington police led the parade — with a cruiser staying warm in a massive pair of earmuffs.

Bangor Savings Bank hosted a gingerbread house contest with some tasty creativity. The winner in the adult category was Toni the Tonka, a gingerbread truck created by Mark Nyboe and Nancy Porter. Second place was awarded to Robyn Belcher. In the children’s category, Esther Bronwyn received first place while Natalie McCarthy received second. First-place winners were awarded $25 in Chamber Bucks and second-place received a $10 prize.

For those plunging into the frigid Clearwater Pond in Industry as part of the Polar Plunge, earmuffs were no help.

Just before 3 p.m., Kaden Marble, 11, a sixth-grader at Mt. Blue Middle School, jumped up and down near the boat launch. He was about to take his first Polar Plunge and hoped the warm-up would prepare him for the frigid plunge into the lake.

“It’s not working,” Marble said, trying not to shiver in shorts and a T-shirt.

As cold as it was, near freezing at the lake, this year’s plunge was a warm one. A canoe was paddled by as the plunge began. Other years, as discussed by several residents, the ice had to be broken for the plunge.


“I stuck my finger in. It didn’t feel that cold,” Marble said.

After his plunge, Marble sang a new tune. “I feel like I’m going to pass out,” he said, shivering, but he still had a big smile for achieving his goal of stepping out of his comfort zone.

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Katrina Ladd waves to the crowd lining Main Street during the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington on Saturday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

A dancing bear struts his stuff at the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington on Saturday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

The Chester Greenwood parade stretches down Main Street in Farmington on Saturday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)


Isabella McHugh looks ahead to the end of the parade route after a long Saturday morning at the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Rod Cohen leads the pack of reindeer pulling the NorthStar ambulance and Mrs Claus during the Chester Greenwood Day parade in Farmington on Saturday. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Kiley Brann and Mckenna Ernest-Rothert throw retractable snowballs from their float at the Chester Greenwood Day parade in Farmington on Saturday. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Emma Crovo and Tatiana Bernard wave from their float at the Chester Greenwood parade in Farmington on Saturday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Audrey Patterson and Allie Lesperance chat on their float before the start of the Chester Greenwood Day parade in Farmington on Saturday. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

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