Clyde Ross as Chester Greenwood, left, Elizabeth Greenwood Thomas as Greenwood’s wife, Isabel, and former Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis participate in the Chester Greenwood Day parade during a previous year’s celebration. The 45th annual event is returning to an in-person format this year after going virtual in 2020. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser file photo

FARMINGTON — The 45th annual celebration of Chester Greenwood Day on Saturday will feature a parade, special sales, food and fun to downtown Farmington.

Events will begin at 9 a.m.

The celebration is presented by Franklin County Chamber of Commerce to honor Farmington native Chester Greenwood, inventor of ear muffs. Some contests will be held virtually again this year.

The theme is Vacationland Fun and earmuffs are required of participants. The parade lineup will be in the W. G. Mallett School parking lot starting at 11 a.m. The parade route will be Middle to High to South to Main streets, ending at the courthouse. A flag-raising ceremony will be held at the courthouse afterward.

“We left the theme pretty vague,” chamber assistant Kaitlin Frost said. “Any of the four seasons, anything that ties into vacationland and incorporates earmuffs.”

A new category, walker, has been added to parade judging this year for those lacking time or resources to create a float. There will be prizes for youth and adults with no limits on the numbers per group, Frost said.

Because of the high prevalence of COVID-19 regionally, the chamber is adhering to guidelines recommended by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Social distancing and masking are encouraged, Frost noted.

Special events and promotions will be held throughout the day.

• A craft fair will be held at the American Legion Post 28, 158 High St. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Farmington Historical Society will hold open houses and wreath sales at the Titcomb House, 118 Academy St., and the Octagon House, 126 High St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• A winter festival will be held at St. Joseph Parish Hall, 133 Middle St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wreaths, assorted gifts, Ora breads, Haitian crafts, a quilt raffle and homemade haddock chowder will be sold.

• Center for Entrepreneurial Studies will host an earmuff ornament decorating activity at its maker space, 156 Main St., from noon to 2 p.m.

The annual Gingerbread House Contest will be held virtually on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Snap a picture and upload it to the event page anytime before 10 a.m. Dec. 4. Winners will be selected by the number of “likes” and comments. Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges and prizes awarded for children ages 12 and younger and adult categories.

A business category has been added to the Holiday Home Decorating Contest, which was held virtually for the first time last year. Participants submit a photo to the chamber’s Facebook event page and community members vote for their favorites.

Prizes will be awarded for best lights, best trees, best Vacation Land theme and best overall theme. Cash prizes and chamber bucks will be awarded to the winners. Registration is open until Dec. 12 and judging will take place Dec. 13.

“We’re opening it to businesses to encourage more community participation,” Frost said.

The Rotary Club will hold its annual Festival of Trees virtually on their Facebook page with online bidding available from 9 a.m. Friday through 8 p.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, the annual Polar Bear Dip will take place at the breakwater on Clearwater Lake in Industry at 3 p.m. Saturday when members plunge into the frigid water.

For more information on Chester Greenwood Day visit www.facebook.com/chestergreenwoodday.

The entire day is a celebration of Greenwood. Maine declared Dec. 21 to be Chester Greenwood Day in 1977. In Farmington, organizers hold the parade and other events on the first Saturday of the month, which falls closer to Greenwood’s birthday of Dec. 4, and also allows attendees a better chance at warm weather.

“We’re working hard to put together a safe event celebrating community and Chester Greenwood,” Frost said, “to brighten up the holiday spirit this year.”


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