Parks and Recreation Department
The Parks and Recreation Department hosted its 31st Annual “Groovy” themed Hay Day this year. Hay Day is a weekend long celebration with both adult and children’s activities and entertainment; beginning with fireworks on Friday. The Hay Day fireworks were largely sponsored by the Farmington Fireman’s Relief and Police Associations. Saturday’s schedule included games, vendors, and rides and of course the annual Bed Race. The Recreation Department team 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 55+ Bingo.
Bed Race Champs
Family Nights at Fernald Park is a popular event. Six Wednesday’s during the summer, Fernald Park was packed with onlookers, giving families the opportunity to enjoy an evening of fun activities. This year’s entertainers included, Wayne from Maine, Marcus Gale and Rick Golden.
The Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt is held at Fernald Park. This year we spread 4,000 candies & 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 200 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
Our Annual Tree Lighting was a success! Members of the Farmington School Band played Christmas carols while the Recreation Department served hot chocolate and cookies in the center of town. When the band was done playing the lights were turned on and the Fire Department brought Mr. and Mrs. Claus to the center of town to greet the children.
The Meet and Greet with Santa Claus gives families the opportunity for their children to sit with Mr. & Mrs. 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 16th the Recreation Department hosted its first “Fowl” Shot Contest for all Town of Farmington Employees. The purpose of the contest was 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. Fifteen employees participated in this program and the winners were Alisha Randall from the Recreation Department and Officer Matt Wunschel from the Police Department. Alisha made 7 baskets and Matt made 13.
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 is catered by Kentucky Fried Chicken. The Technology Horticulture Program at Spaulding High School provided each participant with a corsage. Tickets to the Daddy Daughter Dance were $20/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 $20/couple and $10/additional child.
In May the Recreation Department hosted its first Mom/ Daughter Night Out. Participants painted each other’s nails, enjoyed a photo booth and ate dinner prepared by the Recreation Department. Tickets to the Mom/Daughter Night were $20/couple and $10/additional child.
The Toddler Carnival was held in June at Fernald Park. 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.
Camp Kids and Councilors
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. Alisha became certified in Zumba Atomic this year. She has made this exercise class a weekly routine in the ASP in addition to offering it to the public. Our department is 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 2013.
The Pre- School Play Group continues to be a great program for children before they transition to school. This program allows children 3-5 years old to socialize and play in a controlled environment supervised by Recreation Staff.
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 went on two- three trips per week including many state parks, Funtown/ Splashtown and Story Land. 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 14th-16th the Grades 5-10 Camp camped overnight in Agawam, MA and spent an entire day at Six Flags New England.
Senior Christmas Bingo
In 2012 our Adult/Senior Programs consisted of 35 trips and activities in addition to 55+ Bingo every Wednesday. Some of the trips that were offered were to: Foxwoods Casino, the Boston Museum of Science, plays at the Leddy Theatre and a holiday shopping trip. Alisha also hosted activities at the Recreation Department including Tea Parties and a Lobster Luncheon. The Recreation Department offered two forms of Zumba. Zumba is a form of exercise with a mixture of Latin and international dance moves. Zumba Gold is focused towards the older active adult and beginner participants that may need more instruction or slower steps.
The past three years the Recreation Department has lost a large amount of grant funding that was utilized for Summer Camp Programs. I would like to thank Jo Kinney for recognizing this and coordinating volunteers to work at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the two NASCAR Races this year. Their efforts raised $2,056.63 for our Summer Camp Programs.
Due to the extraordinary efforts of a large group of volunteers the Recreation Department was able to host meals after bingo on November 21st and December 19th. In November the seniors were served a turkey dinner with all the appropriate fixings for a Thanksgiving meal. In December the menu included turkey, ham and fixings. I would like to again thank all the volunteers that donated materials and participated in these meals.
Director of Parks and Recreation