There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the night was seasonably warm, but possibly not as warm as the enthusiasm felt by the crowd that came out to watch Friday night’s SERVPRO Country Days Parade.
This year’s theme is Country Days – Carnival Night Re-Boot 2021 and it was obvious that everyone was ready to celebrate after a year of social distancing due to the pandemic. Young and old began gathering early along Liberty Street to watch the floats, bands, horses, classic cars and a variety of other entries follow the parade route from Long Park to Farmington High School.
Usually held on the Saturday morning of Country Days, this year the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce, in consultation with the Farmington Police Department, decided to move it to Friday evening and from Columbia Street to Liberty Street.
Candy Hente, chamber executive director, was pleased with how the first day of Country Days had gone and was especially delighted with the Friday night crowd.
"We're thrilled with the tremendous crowd that came out for the parade — all the way down to the high school, I'm told," she said. "We hope that everyone has a wonderful time and enjoys the weekend. We've worked hard to make sure that everyone has as much fun as possible and stays safe. It's kind of like a giant community block party. There's lots to do and something for everyone."
The results of the parade judging were Equestrian: 1st place – Belgrade State Bank; Walking Unit: 1st place – Farmington Elks Lodge 1765, 2nd place – Farmington High School Marching Band, 3rd place – Hairea 51; Vehicle/Float: 1st place – St. Francois County Mental Health Board, 2nd place – SERVPRO, 3rd place – Harp's; Best in Show: First State Community Bank.
Besides all the vendor booths, food trucks, midway games and amusement rides, the downtown area looked especially festive on the first day of Country Days thanks to the Farmington Garden Council (FGC) that purchased flower baskets to be hung from the lamp posts downtown.
Comprised of the 25 Gardeners, Flora, and Nancy Weber garden clubs, the FGC project was completed under the leadership of President Leslie Jones and spearheaded by Jeannie Roberts.
FGC coordinated with Mayor Larry Forsythe, City Administrator Greg Beavers and Parks and Recreation Maintenance Director Bud Norman to have city employees plant and hang the baskets in time for this weekend's big event.
Country Days continues through Sunday with a full schedule of family-friendly activities for all ages.
The schedule for the remainder of the weekend is as follows:
Saturday, June 5
9 a.m. Country Days Car Show @ SFC Annex Parking Lot
9 a.m. Diaper Derby/Decorating @ FSCB
10 a.m. Food Vendors/Carnival Rides Open
10 a.m. Marketplace/Craft Vendors Open
10 a.m. Quilt Show @ Farmington Presbyterian Church
10 a.m. Heritage Tractor Show @ US Bank
10 a.m. The Kings of Country & Gospel A Froggy 96 Gazebo Stage, Long Park
11 a.m. Shannon Cox @ J98/KREI Main Stage
11:30 a.m. SK8 Jam Competition Registration Begins @ YFC Skate Park
Noon SK8 Jam Competition @ YFC Skate Park
Noon Frago/Sellouts @ KFMO/B104 Stage
Noon Historic Long House Tours @ Long House
1 p.m. Ukes Ukulele Group @ Froggy 96 Gazebo Stage, Long Park
2 p.m. Rte. 67 @ J98/KREI Main Stage
3 p.m. Killer Wails @ KFMO/B104 Stage
4 p.m. Just Friends @ Froggy 96 Gazebo Stage, Long Park
5 p.m. Johnathan Braddy Band @ J98/KREI Main Stage
6 p.m. Lisa Long @ Froggy 96 Gazebo Stage, Long Park
7 p.m. Merseal Brothers Band @ KFMO/B104 Stage
8 p.m. Abigail Tate @ Froggy 96 Gazebo Stage, Long Park
8 p.m. Hunter Hathcoat @ J98/KREI Main Stage
Sunday, June 6
11 a.m. Food Vendors Open
Noon Carnival Rides Open
For the latest 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 the Country Days media partners, which includes the Daily Journal and Farmington Press.
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or firstname.lastname@example.org