Saturday: Chester Greenwood Day brings parade, many events to Farmington downtown

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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, 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.

FARMINGTON – Residents and visitors alike will celebrate local inventor Chester Greenwood on Saturday, Dec. 5, with events and contests running all day throughout the downtown.

The 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 provides attendees a better chance at warm weather.

The 39th annual Chester Greenwood Day Parade, sponsored by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, begins at 11 a.m. and will form the centerpiece of the morning’s events. However, other events will run from 8 a.m. past 5 p.m. Saturday evening.

At the Titcomb House

People are invited to explore to the wonderfully decorated historical Titcomb House. The Mt. Blue Area Garden Club will be once again decorating the museum of the Historical Society for the holiday season. The open house is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the admission is free.

The front parlor has the photography equipment as donated by the Luce’s’ Studio. The large camera that was first purchased by Leon and Ann Luce in the 1930s and remained a useful piece of black and white photo equipment until the studio closed in 2012. Do you remember having your school photos taken each year?  The camera and box seat is set up as we would have seen it in the classroom.

The brick oven and converted hearth remains a feature in the kitchen with the dinning room set for an elegant meal. The second floor features a military room, a room dedicated to the Titcomb Family, a child’s bedroom and the ladies sewing room.

While you are at the Titcomb House you can purchase a wreath to decorate your front door.

At DDG Booksellers

Merry Moosey Christmas
The author and illustrator of Merry Moosey Christmas will be at DDG Booksellers on Saturday.

A book signing event featuring Lynn Plourde and Russ Cox, the author and illustrator of Merry Moosey Christmas, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. The book features Rudolph the Reindeer convincing Santa to accept a substitute. The search for the perfect replacement results in an eager and resourceful moose, who knows just how to use a headlamp and a GPS. But on Christmas Eve, Rudolph worries: Was the moose’s training complete?

Praise For Merry Moosey Christmas: “Readers will enjoy being in on the silly problem-solving, and Cox’s art, often focused on Rudolph and the Moose’s big expressive eyes, gleefully plays into the story’s comical premise.” – Publishers Weekly

A native Mainer, Plourde is the author of 29 books for children, including At One In a Place Called Maine (published by Islandport Press in 2007), You’re Wearing THAT to School?!?, Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness, and Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud. Her books have won numerous regional and national awards.

Cox has illustrated several books for children including Freddy the Frogcaster; Whatever Says Mark, written by Terry Collins (Capstone); and Nite Nite Soldier by Michael and Beth Hofer (Outhouse Ink). Russ is also a writer. His first title as both author and illustrator, Faraway Friends, will be published by Sky Pony Press in Spring, 2015.

At the North Church

The North Church will be hosting a “Farmington’s Ancestors” exhibit, featuring books, periodicals, maps, biographical data and artifacts from a private Chester Greenwood collection. The North Church will be open two days: Friday, Dec. 4 from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Old North Church, located at the corner of Court and High.
Old North Church, located at the corner of Court and High.

Some of the resource material on display will be “A History of Farmington” by Francis Gould Butler (as of 1885); several books and articles by Ben and Natalie Butler; “The Early Years of Farmington 1781 – 1860” and several other books by Richard P. Mallett; several maps of Farmington from the 1800s; List of soldiers and sailors accredited to the town of Farmington in the Civil War, 1861 – 1865; biographies of Masonic members in Farmington from 1810 to 1900; a compilation of U.S. patent copies of Farmington inventors and much more.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Farmington’s own ukulele-playing “Merry Plinksters” during the Saturday hours. The event is open to the public at no charge by the Farmington Historical Society.

At Franklin Savings Bank

FSB staffers Diane Jackson, Jeannine McDonald, Kerstin Hand and Katrina Pease collect coats while Caitlyn Pease helps with the hot chocolate and popcorn at the 2013 Chester Greenwood Day parade.
FSB staffers Diane Jackson, Jeannine McDonald, Kerstin Hand and Katrina Pease collect coats while Caitlyn Pease helps with the hot chocolate and popcorn at the 2013 Chester Greenwood Day parade.

Franklin Savings Bank and Western Mountain Financial Services encourage everyone to bring a gently used coat to Chester Greenwood Day as part of Coats for Kids Day. Both Franklin Savings Bank and the Maine Bankers Association are sponsoring the event on Dec. 5, marking the occasion with hot chocolate and popcorn for those donating coats during the Chester Greenwood Parade, which starts at 11 a.m. The coat collection will continue at FSB and all its branches throughout the month of December.

Other activities are planned for Front Street after the parade, including horse-drawn wagon rides from Kendrick Charles from 2 to 5 p.m. and the Narrow Gauge Cinemas will be playing The Polar Express. At 5 p.m., FSB and WMFS will gather at the tree that will be at the lawn at 198 Front Street, Farmington.

“There will have popcorn and hot chocolate and, hopefully, folks will spontaneously sing Christmas carols. We hope some of those who are more gifted in voice will step up and lead the carols,” said Anna Lyon, marketing director at Franklin Savings Bank.

At the Octagon House

This photo of the octagon house may have been taken in 1890 or early 1900s (Photo courtesy of Steve Mallett)
This photo of the octagon house may have been taken in 1890 or early 1900s (Photo courtesy of Steve Mallett)

The Farmington Historical Society would like to invite folks to “Share their Holiday Memories” at the Octagon House during the Chester Greenwood Day. The house will be open before the parade at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. A $5 donation at the door will enter attendees in a raffle for the floral arrangements donated by the area Florists: Riverside Greenhouses, Richards’ Florist and Robin’s Flower Pot.

Attendees are invited to share their memories of the holidays by writing them on provided cards. Baskets will be available for people to place their memories of favorite seasonal songs or Christmas carols, memories of an eventful holiday dinner, winter outdoor activity or your favorite holiday food.

The Octagon will be decorated with artifacts from the Farmington Historical Society’s collection and with seasonal decor. The home will be filled with holiday music provided by Lee Ann Tinker.

Schedule of Events

The Chester Greenwood Day 5K Run/Walk8 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the large field adjacent to Prescott Field. Start time is at 9 a.m. and the trail is the perimeter of the field. Cost is $10. Proceeds go to the Maine Brain Aneurysm Awareness. For more information, please call or email: MaureenMcCool1@gmail.com or 778-0801

Cookie Walk & White Elephant Sale – 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. 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.

American Legion Post 28 Craft Fair – 9 a.m. At the corner of High St. & Middle St. Farmington- treats and treasures abound!

Coats for Kids drop-off – all day.

Drop off gently used coats at Franklin Savings Bank and they’ll have them cleaned for another child to use.

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

Emblem Club No. 460 Craft Fair at the Farmington Elks Lodge – 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. A great collection of vendors and items.

Chester Greenwood Day Parade, line up at the W.G. Mallett School’s Quebec Street entrance – 10 a.m. Free! Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. Forms and event rules are posted online at www.franklincountymaine.org. Please note candy throwing will be permitted by individuals walking along the parade route only – not from the floats themselves, for safety reasons. Parade will occur rain, snow, or shine.

The theme is “Favorite Characters,” dress as your favorite book, movie or TV character, and don’t forget to include earmuffs on your float. Judging of floats will be conducted mid-route by a panel of local judges near the Franklin Savings Bank Loan Center on Main Street. Cash prizes will be awarded in two categories: Adult (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) and Youth Organization (Best Overall).

Open House events at the Titcomb House, the Octagon House and the North Church – 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • The Titcomb House, located at the corner of Academy and High Streets, will be open free of charge to the public. Members of the Historical Society will be present to give tours and will be selling fresh decorated wreaths.
  • The Octagon House, located at the corner of Perham and Broadway, will be open and filled with music. A $5 donation is requested. Freshly decorated wreaths for sale.
  • The North Church, located at the intersection of High and Court Street, will be open to the public for free. The church will be showcasing a display from the Mantor Library.

Kids can meet Elsa – all day. Say “Hi” to Elsa at Bangor Savings Bank and other events, stop in to see what is happening!

Rotary’s Festival of Trees – 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. The Festival of Trees will be held at the Greenwood Dining room on Front Street with musical entertainment throughout the day. Tree auction begins at 6:30 p.m. Gift certificate tree raffle tickets are available throughout the day and winner chosen at night.

InClogNeatO clog performance at Bangor Savings Bank – 10:30 a.m. – noon.

The Chester Greenwood Day Parade begins – 11 a.m. Parade will occur rain, snow, or shine. A flag raising ceremony will take place at the Franklin County Courthouse after the parade.

Entries of last year's gingerbread house contest were on display at Bangor Savings Bank.
Entries of last year’s gingerbread house contest were on display at Bangor Savings Bank.

8th Annual Gingerbread House Contest – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Entries may be dropped off at Bangor Savings Bank on Main Street between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. The gingerbread houses will be on display for public viewing from 11 a.m. until 1 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 Characters” so choose your favorite from any book, movie or TV show and find a way to tie it in. Pre-registration required. Forms available online. Free and open to the public. Chester Greenwood birthday cake, courtesy of Walmart, will be served.

Polar Express at Narrow Gauge Cinemas – noon – 1 p.m. A classic holiday movie.

Chili Challenge at Enchanted Herbs & Botanicals. Pre-register by contacting the Chamber. Free. Traveling trophy and Chamber Bucks awarded! Drop off your entry between 11 a.m.  and 11:45 a.m. Come and vote for your favorite! Free and open to the public.

Coat Closet Open House – noon until 2 p.m. Select a clean, gently used coat from a large collection of hats, gloves, mittens, snow pants etc. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. Located in the basement of the Old South First Congregational Church on Main Street.

The Pierce House open house event – 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. The Pierce House will have memorabilia pertaining to the Greenwoods on display to celebrate its connection with the family. Cookie decorating and old fashioned refreshments will be available.

Annual Polar Bear Dip at the breakwater on Clearwater Lake, Industry – 3 p.m. Members take an annual dip into the frigid Clearwater Lake in Industry. Always a crowd pleaser! Dip if you dare!

Camp-Out-For-Heat – 5 p.m. The Old South Youth Group will camp out in front of Holman Parish House to raise awareness and funds for Ecu-Heat, the ecumenical fund that helps provide heating assistance to families in need in Franklin County. The group will be handing out information about Ecu-Heat and helpful materials for folks who would like to learn more about receiving heating assistance.

Evening tree lighting – 5 p.m. With hot chocolate and popcorn at 198 Front Street. Sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank and Western Mountain Financial Services.

Last year's Rotary's Festival of Trees; this year's event will be held at . Trees will be auctioned off Saturday evening with proceeds going to charitable organizations.
Last year’s Rotary’s Festival of Trees; this year’s event will be held at the Greenwood Dining Room. Trees will be auctioned off Saturday evening with proceeds going to charitable organizations.
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