FARMINGTON — Not snow, not rain, not even sleet and ice were enough to spoil the annual Chester Greenwood Day festivities Saturday.

Hundreds turned out for the festivities to celebrate Greenwood, a Farmington native who invented earmuffs nearly 140 years ago at the age of 15.

Years later, the Chester Greenwood & Co. factory in Farmington was turning out hundreds of thousands of the wintertime essentials annually.

At Renys Department Store on Broadway, the festivities cause an annual run on earmuffs as locals as well as visitors prepare for the annual parade and other festivities around town, including a polar bear plunge, live music and a chili cookoff.

Renys store manager Tom Burn said they sell hundreds of pairs of earmuffs each year in the leadup to Chester Greenwood Day. Renys stores across the state ship earmuffs to Farmington in preparation for the festivities, he said.

“It almost seems like we never have enough, especially when it’s snowing like this,” Burn said.


Even Rep. Andrew Buckland, R-Farmington, who served as a judge for the annual Chester Greenwood Parade, was on hand at Renys buying earmuffs.

“It’s a great way to celebrate a former prominent citizen,” said Buckland, who doesn’t normally wear earmuffs.

Doug Sanders, who was buying earmuffs for his children, Rhiannon and Rhys, agreed that earmuffs are an essential item for celebrating Chester Greenwood Day properly.

After the parade, which highlights the festivities, Clyde Ross, who has played Greenwood in the parade for 28 years, raised a special flag in honor of the inventor at the Franklin County Superior Court.

And local attorney and historian Paul Mills read poem dedicated Greenwood. This year’s poem, which he wrote on the morning of the festivities, was titled “Why a Fair Amount of Ice is Sometimes Nice.”

Snow and sleet still were falling as the festivities kicked off, turning to rain in the afternoon.


“I think it’s like the first time in five years that been snowing for the parade,” resident Hannah Goodenow said.

Evan Belanger — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @ebelanger

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