The Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce, Discover Farmington, and small-business retailers in the Farmington downtown area have joined forces to create a Community Christmas Kick-Off celebration extravaganza on Saturday. This is a free, family-friendly event and a fun way to kick off the holiday season.
That date also happens to be Small-Business Saturday, which is a day to celebrate and support local small businesses and all they do for their communities. Many shops will be offering special sales and courtesy treats to those who visit them on this special day.
Locals and visitors to Farmington are encouraged to download the free ‘Eat Shop Play in the Parkland’ app for their smartphones so they can participate in the Shop Small Scavenger Hunt. Beginning Nov. 25 through Dec. 4, those who visit at least 11 of the 26+ businesses listed and check in the ‘shop’ section of the app where the Shop Small Scavenger Hunt is located will start their journey toward prizes. Finding and scanning the store’s hidden QR code automatically generates an entry to win a prize package valued at more than $500. The prize package winner will be announced at 3 p.m. Dec. 5 on the Farmington Regional Chamber’s Facebook page.
Some of the businesses participating as hunt locations are: ColJac Downtown, Victorian Sales Fireplaces, Minuteman Press, Artistic Flex Boutique, Dress 2 Impress Resale Boutique, Hairea 51, Ole Tyme Pantry, Previously Loved Antiques and Gifts, CJ Lighting and Fans, Emma’s, The Copper Lantern, Earth Mother Health Foods, Oasis Christian Bookstore, The Boulevard, Ally Sue, Sweetheart Chocolates, Honeysuckle Farms Meat Market, The Giving Tree Boutique, Columbia St Mercantile, Krekeler Jewelers, Cindy’s Corner, Plummer’s ACE Hardware, Merle Norman Cosmetics, and Ophelia. See the app for the full list of participating businesses.
The Farmington Public Library has an expansive Dickens Christmas Village on display through Dec. 30 and can be viewed during normal library hours of operation. During the celebration on Saturday, it can be viewed from from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
From noon to 4 p.m., horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered at no cost, courtesy of Discover Farmington. Passenger pickup and drop off will be at the Jefferson Street Plaza at 102 West Columbia St., between 102 Taphouse and Ophelia’s. Reservations are not required.
Also, from noon to 4 p.m., Christmas tours of the historic Long House will be available. Named for one of the founding families of the city, Long House is the oldest home remaining in Farmington and was built in 1833. Additional tour dates will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 and from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 16. At 2 p.m. on the front lawn at Long Memorial Hall, there will be an ice sculpture demonstration. The sculpture will be on display throughout the weekend and perhaps longer, depending on the weather.
Buddy the Elf famously said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing out loud so all can hear!” Everyone is invited to do just that with a community Christmas Carol sing-along. Dr. Kevin White, Music Department Coordinator at Mineral Area College, will be leading the singing in the Jefferson Street Plaza at 4 p.m.
Local radio personality Mark Toti will serve as master of ceremonies for The Santa Beard Contest scheduled for 4:30 p.m. $100 prizes and trophies will be awarded to the winner in each of three beard competition categories: best Santa beard, best decorated holiday beard, and best fake festive beard.
The winner of the best “Santa Beard” contest also gets the honor of flipping the switch for the Christmas tree lighting, which is the highlight and conclusion of the celebration kick-off.
For more information, contact the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce or Discover Farmington on their Facebook pages.
Lisa Brotherton-Barnes is a staff writer with the Daily Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com.