The Parks and Recreation Department hosted its 32nd Annual “Circus” themed Hay Day. Hay Day is a weekend long celebration with adult and children’s activities & entertainment; beginning with fireworks on Friday. Saturday’s schedule included games, vendors, 55+ Bingo and of course the annual Bed Race. The team from United Martial Arts Academy won the Bed Race this year and gladly donated the cash prize back to the event. Sunday the Fireman’s Relief Association held their pancake breakfast at the Fire Department and the Recreation Department hosted a 3.5 Mile Road Race; the proceeds from the race benefited programs run by the Recreation Department.
Family Nights at Fernald Park is a very popular event. Five Wednesday’s during the month of July, Fernald Park was packed with onlookers and gave families the opportunity to enjoy an evening of fun activities. This year’s entertainers included, Wayne from Maine, Marcus Gale, Michael Zerphy, Wild Life Encounters and Dan Grady. The Recreation Department sold concessions during Family Nights this year and will continue to do that next year. Items sold included hotdogs, pizza, candy, popsicles, water and soda.
The Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt is held at Fernald Park. This year we spread 4,000 candy & toy filled eggs throughout the park and children ran through with their flashlights and baskets collecting eggs; this event takes place rain or shine.
The Trick-or-Treat Parade is a fun event for much of the community; this year we had approximately 175 children march through town trick or treating at the participating businesses/ organizations downtown.
The Fall Festival is a fun event that gives children another chance to wear their costumes. The Fall Festival is held in the Recreation Departments Gym and families can participate in different contests and games for prizes. 180 people participated in the Fall Festival this year which more than doubled our attendance in 2012.
The official downtown tree was relocated from the center of town to the living tree at the island in the Fire Department parking lot. During the annual tree lighting ceremony the Recreation Department served hot chocolate and candy to 150 spectators while they listened to the Henry Wilson Band and Chorus perform holiday songs. After the tree and downtown lights came on Santa Claus was delivered by the Fire Department; he walked through the crowed greeting families and handing out candy canes. This event consists of a complete community effort in addition to the schools performing the Highway Department helps put up the downtown lights; the Police Department provides traffic control; and the Fire Department assists in decorating the tree and helping with the ceremony.
The Meet and Greet with Santa Claus gives families the opportunity for their children to sit with Santa Claus in a familiar atmosphere with no pressure to spend money on an expensive picture. Parents can use their own cameras to take a picture or the Recreation Department can take the picture and print it for a $3.00 fee.
November 12th the Recreation Department hosted its second “Fowl” Shot Contest for Town of Farmington Employees. The purpose of the contest is to encourage physical fitness and good morale amongst the town’s employees. Participants tried to make as many foul shots as possible in one minute. At the end of the day the man and woman with the most free throws were rewarded with turkeys donated by Hannaford Supermarket. Eighteen employees participated in this event. This year’s winners were Alisha Randall from the Recreation Department and Officer Jon Langley from the Police Department. Alisha made 9 baskets and Matt made 12.
Events with a fee:
The annual Daddy Daughter Dance was a sell out; girls age 4-12 and their chaperones enjoyed a night out of dancing and games. This event was catered by Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Technology Horticulture Program at Spaulding High School provided each participant with a corsage. Tickets to the Daddy Daughter Dance were $25/couple and $10/additional child.
The Mom/Son Activity Night was a great evening of individual and team competitions including dodge ball and tug of war (moms vs. sons). The participants ate pizza from Farmington House of Pizza and had ice cream for dessert. Tickets to the Mom/Son Activity Night were $25/couple and $10/additional child.
In March the Recreation Department hosted its first Duck Race. Participants purchased their “lucky duck” numbers for $5 each and watched as we floated ducks with corresponding numbers down the Cocheco River. Prizes included a $100 gift card to Walmart, a $50 gas card and a $25 gift card to Mr. Chag’s Den. Proceeds from this event benefited the Recreation Department Summer Programs. We are planning for the 2014 Duck Race grand prize to be an IPad; hopefully this will encourage more participation in the event.
In May the Recreation Department hosted its second Mom/ Daughter Night Out. Participants painted each other’s nails, enjoyed a photo booth and watched “Brave” while they ate dinner prepared by the Recreation Department. Tickets to the Mom/Daughter Night were $25/couple and $10/additional child.
The Town Wide Yard Sale provides an opportunity for people to get publicity for their yard sale at a low cost. Each participant pays $5 and the Recreation Department constructs a map with all of their addresses on it. The maps are distributed through Farmington so thrifty shoppers can plan their yard sale hunt. This year the Recreation Department collected donations from its program’s participants and set up a yard sale at Fernald Park; the proceeds from this yard sale benefited the Recreation Departments Summer Programs.
In July the Recreation Department hosted a Variety Show to raise money for the Hay Day Fireworks. The event featured performances by Kacie Grenon, Dance N’ Motion 2, Rachel Morin, Miss Karoly’s Dance Factory, Studio 109, Destiny Copp, Robert Hall, Emma Fuller, RJ Wood and Will Jasper.
The Toddler Carnival was held at Fernald Park in June. This is a great opportunity for parents to enjoy games, contests and a bounce house with their young children. The fee for this event is $5/child.
In July the Recreation Department hosted Family Fun Night at Farmington House of Pizza. 10% of all dining room sales were donated to the Recreation Department Summer Programs. We greatly appreciate all the families that came out to support us that evening.
School Year Programs:
The After School Program for children in grades K-6 continues to be popular with parents and students. This program runs the entire school year; participants are picked up at the school by Recreation staff members and brought to the Recreation Department to participate in a variety of games, sports, crafts and special activities. Our department is always researching new ways to promote exercise and healthy living to the children in Farmington. We are looking forward to trying new things in the spring of 2014.
In addition to the After School Program the Recreation Department runs February and April Vacation Camps. These camps attend a trip each day and lunch is included in the cost of the week. Some of the trips include: ice skating, bowling, swimming, tubing and Hilltop Fun Center.
Summer time is by far our busiest time of the year. We offer two camps in the summer. The Grades 1-5 Camp is a five day a week program and went on two- three trips per week including many state parks, and a surprise trip to Funtown. On the non-trip days the Recreation Staff organized activities that the children participated in at the Recreation Department and at Fernald Park.
The Grades 5-10 Camp is a four day a week program (Monday- Thursday). This camp attends a trip every day and allows the campers more freedom by using a buddy system with check- in times, as opposed to the Grades 1-5 Camp where the children stay in groups with counselors. August 13th-15th the Grades 5-10 Camp, camped overnight at Woodland Acres in Brownfield Maine. The group arrived and set up camp August 13th; the next day they went out on canoes and kayaks on the Saco River. When they returned to camp they played games and shared stories from the day. August 15th they packed up their camp site and returned to Farmington.
In 2013 our Adult/Senior Programs consisted of 33 trips and activities in addition to 55+ Bingo every Wednesday. Some of the trips that were offered were to: Foxwoods Casino, plays at the Leddy Theatre, holiday shopping trips and Mystery Lunch Bunches. Alisha also hosted activities at the Recreation Department including Tea Parties and 3 free senior meals.
Due to the extraordinary efforts of a large group of volunteers the Recreation Department was able to host free senior meals after bingo on April 3rd, November 20th and December 18th. The meals consisted of ham, turkey and all the fixings you would anticipate from a holiday meal; including desserts!! I would like to again thank everyone who donated materials and participated in the preparation of these meals. Without their help we would not be able to provide such a great service.
I would also like to give a special thank you to all of the businesses and organizations that continuously support our department through sponsorships and donations. Without your support we would not be able to provide the quality programs and events that we do.
Rick Conway Director of Parks and Recreation