In celebration of the inventor of earmuffs, Farmington will be celebrating Chester Greenwood Day with a parade, historical events and music Saturday.

The annual local holiday is in honor of Farmington native Greenwood who nearly 140 years ago invented earmuffs at the age of 15. By the time he was 28, the inventor turned manufacturer was cranking out pair after pair of Champion Ear Protectors. They were made at the Chester Greenwood & Co. factory downtown, where, in 1936, the company produced 400,000 during its biggest year.

In 1977, the state of Maine declared December 21 to be Chester Greenwood Day, though Farmington celebrates the inventor’s legacy on the first Saturday in December.

For the past 39 years, in honor of Greenwood, the town has held a parade and other events that bring heavy foot traffic to the downtown and cause a one-day boon of earmuff sales.

“It makes for a very fun festive day,” said Penny Meservier, interim director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the downtown event.

She said this year the theme of the day is holiday movies. Groups with floats in the parade are encouraged to design their floats to include both a holiday movie along with traditional earmuff decorations.

“Some people are doing the Charlie Brown Christmas special, Frosty the Snowman or Miracle on 34th Street,” said Meservier.

The festivities will include classic events like the parade at 11 a.m. and the chili cook-off at noon in Meetinghouse Park, but also will include a few new additions. Meservier said author Megan McCarthy, who wrote a children’s book about Greenwood called “Earmuffs for Everyone,” will be holding a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. at Devaney, Doak, & Garrett on Broadway.

The Pierce House, originally the Farmington Home for Aged, will be holding an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. to celebrate its connection to the original Greenwood family. Greenwood and his wife Isabel were lifelong trustees of the Main Street elderly housing, and the open house will display memorabilia about the two.

The Farmington Historical Society will also host a number of events Saturday.

The Octagon House at the corner of Perham and High streets will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live music starting at 10:30 a.m.

A press release from the historical society said this year the house will be filled with Farmington Historical Society items that pertain to past Christmases from their historical collection or on loan from society members. The society is asking for $5 donations to visit the house.

The society’s other home, the Titcomb House on Academy Street, will also be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The house, which serves as the society’s museum, will display more of their historical collection and be selling decorated wreaths as a fundraiser. The Old North Church, which the society recently restored, will also be hosting the Farmington Rotary Festival of Trees.

For a full list of events or information on how to register for the parade, call the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce at 778-4215 or visit their website at www.FranklinCountyMaine.org.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]


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