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Parade highlights second day of Country Days festivities

FARMINGTON — The second full days of Country Days activities will offer fans ample opportunity to get their exercise.

Health enthusiasts can start their day Saturday by participating in the Edward Jones “Invest In Yourself” Run/Walk. The fun and healthy event starts with registration at the St. Joseph Gym adjacent to Long Park at 5:45 a.m. The one mile run will step off at 7 a.m., while the five mile run and walk will take to the streets at 7:30 a.m.

For those more prone to a slower pace, food concessions and arts and crafts shopping will begin at 9 a.m., near Long Park. The annual First State Community Bank Diaper Derby will be held starting at 9 a.m., on a carpeted stretch of street in front of the downtown bank branch. Registration for the crawling “racers” will begin at 8:45 a.m.

There will be plenty of things to do and see for the mechanically minded as well. An antique tractor show will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Car enthusiast can cruise in or stop by the Most Wreck-Amended Country Days Cruise In on the St. Francois County Courthouse Annex parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Prefer something a little more uppity? Consider an airplane ride at the Farmington Regional Airport sometime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The airport is located off Perrine Road.

Quilters can take in the handiwork of others at the Quilt Show, Tea Room and Bake Sale at Farmington Presbyterian Church at the corner of Columbia and Cayce streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All the while, activities will be bursting to life all around Long Park downtown. A fun game known as Water Wars will begin at 10 a.m., along with the start of pony rides and the opening of the Model Railroad and Exhibit, a new feature this year in the Wohschlaeger building. A presentation will be made at the railroad exhibit at 2 p.m.

Then at 10 a.m. the big parade will make its way downtown. The Hensco/Radio Shack Kid’s Parade will begin on the Cozean parking lot on West Columbia and precede the start of the McDonald’s Country Days Parade.

For the big parade, participants will stage at the Farmington High School and Civic Center. The parade marshal will begin the procession at 10 a.m., winding east on Columbia Street to downtown, across Henry Street, and back west on Liberty Street to the high school.

Several food, drink and music opportunities can be found throughout downtown all day long. Then at 1:30 p.m. the final rounds will be held in the Accent Marketing/J98 All Star Talent Show. At 2:30 p.m. the J98/Domino’s Country Days Bed Race will pit local teams against each other on Columbia Street in front of First State Community Bank.

As for the little Country Days fans, a Kid’s Pedal Tractor Pull will take place starting at 3 p.m. The winners of the annual Little Miss and Master Contest will be announced at the park gazebo at 5 p.m.

Winners from the parade will be announced at 5:30 p.m.

And the music will crank up even more at 7:30 p.m. with pre-concert entertainment by Route 67. At 8:30 p.m. country crooner Aaron Tippin will take the stage to perform a free concert in Long Park.

Country Days will continue with more game, activities and Church In The Park on Sunday morning.

Doug Smith is a writer for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-756-8927, or at

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