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Farmington Christmas merrymaking begins with tonight’s parade

Krekeler Jewelers Christmas Parade. Submitted Photo

Discover Farmington and the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce continue their Community Christmas celebration with events designed to serve up holiday joy in generous portions.

The fun begins with the 5 p.m. opening of the synthetic ice rink at Wilson Rozier Park. The rink will be open now through Jan. 3 and is sponsored in cooperation between the City of Farmington Parks and Recreation Department and Discover Farmington. Hours of operation will be 5 to 9 p.m. weekdays, noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The rink will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The annual Krekeler Jewelers Christmas parade is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.  This year’s theme is “A Caroling Christmas.”

The parade lineup will begin at 5 p.m. at West Liberty and North Franklin streets. Streets will be blocked off at 5:45 p.m. and will be unblocked after the parade is over. The Parade route will be West Liberty St., left onto A St., left onto West Columbia St., left onto North Henry St., then left again to Liberty St. where it originally began.

In case of inclement weather, the Christmas parade will be canceled by noon today, and there will be no rescheduled date. Information will be posted at farmingtonregionalchamber.com and on the chamber’s Facebook page.

Mark Toti introducing special North Pole visitors at Winter Wonderland. Submitted Photo

Immediately following the parade — or at 6:30 p.m. in the event of parade cancellation — Winter Wonderland’s grand opening will take place at Long Memorial Hall. Inside, visitors will find the largest G-scale train display in Southeast Missouri and a pair of special visitors from the North Pole. Children will be able to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, provide them with their Christmas wish lists, and have photos taken with them. Each child will also receive a free goody bag.  Sponsored by the City of Farmington, Winter Wonderland will be open until Dec. 21. Hours of operation will be from 6-8 p.m. weekdays. On Dec. 9 and 16, the hours of operation will be 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Farmington Parks and Recreation will sponsor a breakfast with Santa at Winter Wonderland from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dec. 9 and 16. Preregistration is required and can be done at the Civic Center. Space is limited.

A myriad of Christmas-themed musicals will be presented at various venues. Visit the Farmington Chamber’s Facebook page for specific locations, show times, and ticket prices.  Shows include:

  • “Meet Me in St. Louis” Nov. 30, Dec. 1-3
  • “The Merry Christmas Show: Visions of Christmas” Dec 8-9
  • “The Messiah” Dec 8-9
  • Community Band Christmas Concert, Dec. 12-13
  • Community Jazz Band Christmas Concert, Dec. 12-13
  • Mineral Area Gospel Choir and Handbell Concert, Dec. 18

Dec. 15 offers a special opportunity to visit Farmington’s historic churches from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in a self-paced, self-guided touring event. Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they wish. Some churches will have a variety of music, Christmas decor, and refreshments.

Participating churches include:

  • Farmington Presbyterian Church at 403 W. Columbia St.
  • First Free Will Baptist Church at 305 W. Columbia St. and visitors are asked to use the Clay St. entrance.
  • Farmington Christian Church at 201 W. Columbia St.
  • First Baptist Church of Farmington at 210 N. A St.
  • Memorial United Methodist Church at 425 N. St. and visitors are asked to use the Karsch Blvd. entrance.
  • St. Paul Lutheran Church at 609 E. Columbia St.
  • The Church of Latter-Day Saints at 709 E. Henry St. will have a special display of more than 100 nativity scene sets from around the world, which is part of a traveling collection that has been carefully curated for its beauty.

Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., visitors can satisfy their sweet tooth cravings at Memorial United Methodist Church at 425 N. St. The Festival of Sweets will be in full swing with holiday goodies available for purchase. For more information, contact Jean Merrill Doss at 573-760-7850.

There are two remaining dates this year to tour historic Long House and see it decked out in holiday splendor. On Dec. 8, tours are available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Dec. 16, tours are available from noon to 4 p.m.

Visitors to downtown who might have missed their opportunity for a free horse-drawn carriage ride can still wait at the Jefferson Street Plaza adjacent to 102 Taphouse to participate in this unique experience that harkens back to simpler modes of transportation. Between Dec. 8 and 22, Friday evening rides are available from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Between Dec. 2 and 23, Saturday evening rides are available from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information about any of these events, visit the Farmington Chamber’s website at farmingtonregionalchamber.com. Scroll down to the calendar section and click on the date or event link of your choice.

Lisa Brotherton-Barnes is a staff writer with the Daily Journal. She can be reached at lbarnes@dailyjournalonline.com.

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