Country Days, one of the largest and most loved events in the Parkland, is returning Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4 to downtown Farmington for a 45th year of family-friendly fun, food and entertainment for all ages.
In recognition of this significant milestone, the theme of this year’s Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event is “Celebrating 45 years of Country Days.”
“We’re inviting everybody to join us as we honor the 45-year legacy of country days,” said Deena Ward, the chamber’s director of events. “This is one of the biggest and most popular events held in southeast Missouri. For three days, thousands of people fill the streets of downtown Farmington.”
In announcing this year’s Mr. and Mrs. Country Days, Gary and Kathy Romine, Ward said, “When Gary moved to Farmington in 1979 to teach at Farmington High School, he had no idea how that one move would impact the entire direction of his future. He encountered a beautiful young woman, Kathy DeMint, who was managing the Plank Road Inn and was a Mineral Area College cheerleader, attending school on a volleyball scholarship and playing softball.”
The couple, married in 1981, are the parents of five children and have 13 grandchildren, ages 3 to 21.
“Gary and Kathy went on to launch a business, opening Show Me Rent to Own and operating 25 stores for 35 years in Missouri, with the home office based in Farmington,” Ward said. “They have always enjoyed participating in the Farmington Regional Chamber and giving back to the community. They have both volunteered with many community organizations.”
Mr. Romine is a former Mineral Area College Board of Trustees member and past president. He is also a member and past president on the board of Young Faith in Christ. Perhaps most notably, he was District 3 state senator from 2013 to 2020, and currently serves as chairman of the Missouri State Tax Commission.
Mrs. Romine is a member of the Help the Hungry Bake Sale Committee, the Farmington Ministerial Alliance Benevolence Board, and she is a board member and past president of the Farmington Educational Foundation.
In response to their selection as Mr. and Mrs. Country Days for 2023, the couple said, “It is a great honor to be chosen. It’s giving us the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the community that has blessed us so much. We are excited to be a part of the Country Days activities and look forward to welcoming everyone to Country Days 2023. We’re expecting a big crowd will be coming to Friday night’s kickoff — the SERVPRO Country Days Parade. As usual, it will feature a lot of floats and local color.”
This year’s Country Days Parade Grand Marshal is CASA of the Parkland, a local not-for-profit organization that recruits, trains and supports community volunteers who assist the court in protecting the best interests of abused and neglected children in the 24th Circuit, made up of St. Francois, Madison, Ste. Genevieve and Washington counties.
Ward gave a preview of the weekend’s many other events.
“Starting Friday night, you can catch some wild rides and visit the vendors at the Ozarks Federal Country Days Midway,” she said. “A Country Days tradition, Little Miss and Master Country Days, will be returning for 2023. We’ve also got some new events this year that include the McDonald’s Coloring Contest, the Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners’ Farmington Mini Tractor Pull, the Lead Belt Jeepers Show and Shine, and the Fireman Competition.
Saturday night will feature line dancing with a live line dance caller and a demo class held beforehand, along with bands performing on two stages all day throughout the weekend.
“On Friday night, Southern Gypsi will stomp the main stage from 7 to 11, while Fields of Eden will shake the gazebo from 7 to 11,” Ward said. “Catch some wild rides and see the vendors at the Ozarks Federal Country Days Midway. On Saturday, the main stage showcases Route 67 from 10 to noon, with Ear Candy sweetening the afternoon from 1 to 3. Billy Brown takes over from 4 to 7 with Sweet Water Holler featured from 8 to 11. Meanwhile, at the gazebo in Long Park, London Miscisin starts the morning off from 10 to noon, with the Dixieland Jazz Band tooting their horns from 1 to 3 and the Ladies of Amaryllis singing it from 4 to 7. Crossroads will close out Saturday night at the Gazebo performing from 8 to 10.”
Country Days wraps up on Sunday with All-You-Can-Ride Wrist Bracelet Day, carnival rides and food from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closing out the annual event will be Harvest Christian Center’s worship team, which will be performing from 2-4 p.m.
Ward mentioned several other Country Days favorites returning this year.
“The Summit Shredding Country Days Saloon will be near the main stage, and Great Minds Health Center’s Young at Heart will be in Long Park with free kids activities,” she said. “Downtown Merchant Day takes place Friday afternoon, along with the Country Days Car Show, sponsored by Sam Scism Ford; the Country Days Tractor Show; the Country Days Quilt Show; the Corn Hole Tournament, and the Little Caesar’s Moonlight Bike Ride. We’re also encouraging everyone to enter the Country Days Daily Journal Photo Contest. All you have to do is post your weekend photos to the Farmington Country Days Facebook page. The photo with the most “likes” and “loves” wins.”
According to Ward, 2023 Country Days stickers, hats and T-shirts will be available for purchase.
For more 2023 Country Days information, go to the Farmington Country Days Facebook page and the “Eat, Shop, Play in the Parkland” app.
“It is a great honor to be chosen. It’s giving us the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the community that has blessed us so much.” Gary and Kathy Romines, 2023 Mr. and Mrs. Country Days
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-783-9667 or email@example.com