People who don’t live here usually ask, “What do you do in this town for fun?” My standard answer is, “We make our own and have a great time doing it!”
This June is another prime example of why folks in Farmington rarely get bored. They simply don’t have time to. If they’re not involved in working on, participating in or taking advantage of some event, they’re home recovering.
Country Days this past weekend was one giant hullabaloo! Have no idea how many visitors were here to take advantage of and enjoy the many activities, but downtown was a wall-to-wall carpet of happy campers!
It always amazes me how all of our businesses, organizations, churches and anyone else who still has an ounce of energy gets involved to help throw one great, huge, down-home party.
Of course, there always has to be a lead dog, and the chamber of commerce is the one out their pulling and, when necessary, pushing to get the annual event going and over the finish line. Kudos, of course to chamber heads Laura Raymer and Candy Wiggins Zarcone (soon to change her last name), their staff and the many, many volunteers who get the job done year after year.
Through the many years of the Country Days Festival, there have been a lot of themes, but this year’s Super Heroes was a true winner. The town felt so safe, with all of those comic book heroes we’ve read about for years actually here patrolling our streets and businesses.
I was a little worried about the rest of the country with all of them congregated here, and I rather think it’s why the Blues lost their game last Saturday night. The Guardians were so busy here, they didn’t make it to the game in time after the bad weather set it. That’s my reasoning and I’m sticking to it.
Just because the hoopla of this year’s Country Days is past and in the history books, don’t put away your walking shoes, fans and water bottles yet!
The Farmington History Museum Board is staging the next event with a “Back to the Past” Walking Tour of Historic West Columbia Street on Saturday, June 22nd. It’s a first for this organization and the purpose is three-fold: to promote the proud history of our community, to make the public aware of the presence of the History Museum and its mission, and to raise funds to benefit the Museum’s growth and activities. It’s a three-in-one-deal you don’t want to miss.
Currently, the museum is located in the genealogy section of the Farmington library, but it is hoped it can soon be moved into its own home. Hence, the need for funds.
Here’s the information and schedule for that day — or everything you’ll need to know about the Back to the Past Walking Tour: The date is Saturday, June 22. Since walking tours just don’t adapt to being moved indoors, a tentative rain date (heaven forbid!) has tentatively been scheduled for June 29th.
The tours start from the Farmington High School Field House, where there is plenty of parking and tour groups can wait inside the field house to start their tour. Each group will be accompanied by two trained tour guides. Transportation will be provided both to and from the tour route. Guests are not allowed to use private cars to go to and from the tour route.
Bottled water will be given to each tour guest as they board the bus. At the end of each tour, the participants will each receive a small gift bag from the museum containing a souvenir tour booklet of Farmington, as well as other brochures about the area and the many businesses, amenities and parks.
There will be a total of eight tours that day — four in the morning and four in the afternoon. Times will be: morning, 9:30, 9:45, 10 and 10:15. To allow a break for a siesta, shopping downtown or running errands, afternoon tours are: 3:30, 3:45, 4 and 4:15. Each tour will take about one and a half to three quarters of an hour to complete the four-block walk.
In the event a participant cannot complete the walk, a guide will contact the tour scheduler and a car will be sent to pick up the walker and return them to the field house. A nurse will be on duty there if needed. The field house is also in close access to Parkland Hospital in the event of an emergency. Limited seating will be provided at each stop for those with walking issues. (That includes people of a vintage age, like this writer.)
There are 10 scheduled stops on the tour where a trained docent will be stationed who will give the history of the house and its original owners. There will be NO home tours. Tentative plans now are to have a walk through one of the outstanding gardens on the route, through the courtesy of the owners, Clinton and Jeannie Roberts.
I say, tentative, because you never know when a garden will come under attack from a group of hostile moles, locust or blight! The guides will be giving information on the history of other homes, sites and the street itself throughout the walk and during the drive to and from the tour.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and are available ONLY at First State Community Bank’s downtown branch. Tickets, check or cash only, should be purchased for the time of the tour desired. Tickets for each time are color-coded and have the tour time on them and must be presented at the proper tour time. Tour space is limited and only 96 tickets total will be sold.
If this sounds a tad dictatorial, it is necessary because of the timing and logistics to keep the tour groups safe, running on time and to avoid any inconvenience to the walking guests. Plus, this being our first outing for this event, we may be going a little overboard in the planning, but, if all goes well, we hope to make this an annual affair focusing on a different location each time.
Like Country Days, this event takes a lot of people to get it off the ground and to a successful conclusion. All the Museum Board members are involved, as well as numerous volunteers who will serve as docents and guides. Remember, please, this is a first for them also in this capacity.
Big thanks are due to other organizations and businesses who have helped, certainly the city who once again is offering assistance, and finally, to our main sponsor and underwriter, the good folks at First State Community Bank. It takes a village to get a tour group back to the past…even for a day.
Mark your calendars now and get your tickets soon for a walk “Back to the Past” on June 22nd. We’ll be sure you get transported back to the present at the end.