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‘The Farm Town Get Down’ set for this weekend

In less than 24 hours, people from all over will be flocking to Farmington’s downtown corridor to spend a fun filled weekend at the 39th Country Days summer extravaganza.

With a theme, “The Farm Town Get Down,” the festival will run from Friday to Sunday.

“We are very excited about this year’s Country Day,” said Laura Raymer, director of operations and member engagement for the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This is such a great event. I have had people from Iowa and Alabama already call to tell me they are bringing a caravan a people with them. This year is going to be such a good time. We have food, shopping, free concerts and plenty of rides and amusements along the midway.”

As it has in years past, the festivities will kick off on Friday morning with the KREI Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Coldwell Banker Hulsey Realty Gazebo in Long Park.

Beginning at 10 a.m., Merchant Days will be a welcomed prelude to the weekend festivities. During the morning and early afternoon, local business and eateries will be offering special and sales.

During Merchant Days, fair-goers can stop by New Era Bank from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for some old fashion cotton candy before going to US Bank to cool off with ice cream and a bottle of water.

Ozark Federal Savings and Loan is hosting “Free Hugs Stand and photo booth” with Hugs juice and photo booth to commemorate this year’s Country Days.

First State Community Bank will again have hot dogs, chips, and soda available for just 50 cents each.

Stop at The Printing Company at 235 E. Columbia St.  for some fun, candy and take a chance to win a prize.

Head to Belgrade State Bank between 3-5 p.m. at 515 W. Karsch Blvd. for an old fashion ice cream social with fresh homemade ice cream made by Old Village Mercantile.

For those who have waited patiently all year for a chance to dine on turkey legs, gator tails, funnel cakes and a host of other dining possibilities, the concession vendors will begin serving at 5 p.m. in the Long Park area and will run all weekend.

If you prefer shopping more than dining, vendors at the Parkland Health Center Country Days Marketplace will begin selling their wares at 5 p.m. along Columbia Street. Vendors from all over the state will be in town to sell various items, such as hand crafted gifts to clothing and much more. Raymer said the marketplace is a big draw all weekend long.

For the young and the young at heart, amusement rides and the midway, sponsored by Ozark Federal Saving and Loan, will also open for the weekend at 5 p.m. on Friday. Advanced tickets are available at the Farmington Chamber of Commerce office, 302 N. Washington St. Tickets in advance are seven ticket for $5 until Friday. After Friday it will be $1 per ticket.

The music festivities will begin at 6 p.m. when local singers compete in the STARTEK/J98 Country Days Talent Show. Contestants in two categories, youth and adult, will perform one song with Route 67 on the Mainstage with the top five performers advancing to the final round on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. 

Kicking off the concert series on Friday night on the Country Days Mainstage will be country music singer Walker Hayes with Restless Road as his opening act. The concert is free to the public and will begin at 9 p.m.

Mainstage sponsors include Chris Auffenberg Chevrolet/Buick/GMC, Centene Corporation, First State Community Bank, Parkland Health Center, PepsiCo America’s Beverage, and SRG Global.

A favorite opening night event will be returning once again this year. The Little Caesar’s Moonlight Bike Ride will be held at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Once again riders are asked to meet on the parking lot at Country Mart at 9 p.m. All riders must have a light on their bike. The ride is open to riders of all ages at no cost and will have a police escort.

Country Days begins bright and early Saturday with the First State Community Bank sand bank. The annual coin dig will begin at 8:30 a.m. with kids digging in a sand box for lost coins.

Immediately following, the bank will also holds the crowd pleasing Diaper Derby and Diaper Decoration contest. Registration for both begins at 8:30 a.m. with the derby beginning at 9 a.m.

For those who enjoy antique machinery, the Mineral Area Heritage Antique Tractor Show will be held from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. on Ste. Genevieve Avenue between Carleton Street and Long Street. A kids’ tractor pull will take place at 1 p.m.

One of the Country Days biggest events of the three-day festival is the annual Servpro Country Days Parade at 10 a.m. with nearly 200 entries. The parade will begin at the Farmington Civic Center, follow Columbia Street to Henry Street and return up Liberty Street.

“This year, if the weather is not cooperating at the start of the parade, like last year, we will still have a window of opportunity to hold the parade,” Raymer said. “I spoke with police department and the fire department and have a couple of hours to hold the parade” in case of inclement weather. 

Updates on any changes due to weather will be posted at farmingtonpressonline.com during the weekend.

For those who want to take a few moments, cool off and enjoy an almost forgotten activity, visit the Farmington Presbyterian Church Quilt Show, Tea Room and Bake Sale at the Farmington Presbyterian Church on Cayce and Columbia Streets. It is free to public, so enjoy some antique quilts, cookies, tea, sandwiches and baked goods while looking at some beautiful creations. The exhibit, along with the tea room, opens at 10 a.m. and goes to 4 p.m.

Once again, the Farmington Masonic Lodge will be helping to keep children safe by offering the Masonic Children’s Foundation MoChip at the Farmington Fire Station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For the car enthusiast, Saturday will be a big day when the Classic Car Cruise-In, sponsored Sam Scism Ford Lincoln and hosted by the St. Francois County Rotary Club. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the First State Community Bank parking lot across from 201 E. Columbia St.

The finals of the STARTEK/J98 talent show begin at 1:30 p.m. Little Miss and Master Country Days will be crowned at 3:45 p.m. at the Long Park Coldwell Banker Hulsey Gazebo.

Other events in Long Park on Saturday include the Sk8 Jam 2016 in the Farmington Sk8 Park, with registration beginning at noon; 8 to B Great sponsored by KFMO/B104 with one lucky winner taking home $104 cash prize. 

Historic Long House tours will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. 

The Hornets Nest on the south side of St. Joseph Catholic School is open from 11 a.m. to midnight and the Blue Star Saloon Beer Garden is open from noon to midnight.

The music continues on Saturday when hometown favorites The Shut-Ins and Route 67 take the main stage beginning at 4 p.m. 

Taking over the main stage Saturday evening at 9 p.m. will be award winning songwriter Michael Tyler. Opening for Tyler is The Steel Woods.

Sunday begins with the Farmington Ministerial Alliance Church in the Park at 9 a.m. at the Long Park Gazebo in Long Park lead by Pastor Paul Bembower and music by Three Crosses Cowboy Church.

Although Sunday is the final day of Country Days, there is still plenty of entertainment for the family to enjoy.

Beginning at 11 a.m., Country Days Faith and Family Concerts, sponsored by Mineral Area College and Thurman Shinn and Co., will begin with The Roose Family kicking off the celebration followed by The Redemptions at noon, The Berry Brothers at 1:15 p.m. and The Punches at 2:30 p.m.

A washer tournament is taking place for the first time this year. Hosted by Farmington VFW Post 5896, the tournament will take place in Blue Star Memorial Park. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the event starts at 2 p.m.

Also this year are the Farmington Ministerial Alliance Faith Games beginning at 3 p.m. The games featured old-fashioned fun, including a pie eating contest, old fashioned sack race and more.

For more information on events during the weekend, visit farmingtoncountrydays.com.

With a theme of

With a theme of “The Farm Town Get Down,” the 39th Annual Country Days begins Friday and run through the weekend. The premiere summer festival in the Parkland offers amusement rides, games, food and free concerts, plus the Servepro Country Day Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Farmington Country Days offers something for everyone.

Farmington Country Days offers something for everyone. “The Farm Town Get Down” kicks off the 39th year for the weekend-long celebration.

Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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