After canceling last year’s Country Days because of health concerns centered around the COVID-19 pandemic, the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that the long-time and popular weekend event will be returning to the city’s downtown area June 4-6 with a few changes from previous years.
Cassie Thomas, the chamber’s director of events, announced the return of Country Days during a brief overview of this year’s events that was streamed live on Facebook.
Thomas noted that this year’s theme will be the same one intended for 2020’s canceled event — “Country Days – Carnival Nights,” along with the addition of “Re-Boot 2021.”
“Because we didn’t get to use it last year, we thought it was so great, we had to reboot it,” she said. “We hope that you can decorate your float for our parade with the ‘Country Days – Carnival Nights’ theme. It’s the largest parade in the county, by the way — so, we hope that everyone comes out and attends."
According to Thomas, the Country Days Midway, sponsored by Ozarks Federal, will be returning this year as well.
“It will be set up in the downtown area where it’s always been,” she said. “We’ve been talking to the carnival individuals and they have some new rides they’re going to be bringing this year, so everybody has something to look forward to.”
Thomas mentioned later in her presentation that the carnival rides will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the “all-you-can-ride wrist bracelet day” will take place on Sunday only.
Mr. and Mrs. Country Days for 2021 are Mike and Jessie Williams. The couple was originally selected to serve as last year’s “royalty,” but were unable to serve when the event was canceled. The Williamses are well-known in the community through their participation in a number of civic organizations and events through the years, as well as their downtown business, Previously Loved Antiques. They are members of Memorial United Methodist Church.
ServPro will once again be sponsoring the Country Days Parade, however the chamber and city have not made a final decision on whether or not it will be held on Saturday morning as it has in the past, or if it will be moved to Friday evening instead. In any case, Thomas said the parade will be somewhat smaller this year with about 150 entries expected. In recent years there have been approximately 200 entries.
The 2021 parade marshal will be Hope 4 Autism. Cofounded by Jessica Harmon and Luann Honerkamp in 2012, the Farmington-based organization raises awareness and funds — as well as offers training another other assistance — for people on the autism spectrum.
Thomas stressed that this year’s Country Days will be “about all things local.”
“We’re going to feature local businesses, local talent and local treats,” she said. “There will be three stages with music playing all day long. There will be a Country Days block party that will extend up Columbia Street all the way to Jefferson Street Plaza. There will be family-friendly fun in Long Park and an adult beverage area on Columbia Street by the Jefferson Street Plaza.”
Thomas added that, as in previous years, Country Days 2021 will feature Downtown Merchant Days on Friday afternoon, as well as a car show, tractor show, quilt show and Little Caesars Moonlight Bike Ride. There will also be carnival food and fun for all ages throughout the weekend.
This year’s Country Days will feature a photo contest. People are encouraged to post their Country Days photos on the Farmington Country Days Facebook page.
“The photo receiving the most likes and loves will be the winner,” Thomas said.
Weekend musical entertainment will include the popular local group GTO (Good Time Oldies) that will be performing on the main stage from 7-10 p.m. Friday; and on Saturday, the Johnathan Braddy Band from 5-7 p.m. and Hunter Hathcoat from 8-10 p.m.
For more information about Country Days, the chamber encourages the public to download its free “Eat, Shop, Play in the Parkland” app from their favorite smartphone app store; check out the Country Days Facebook page; and keep in touch with its Country Days media partners, which includes the Daily Journal and Farmington Press. Applications for all Country Day events can be downloaded at www.FarmingtonRegionalChamber.com.
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or firstname.lastname@example.org