Downtown district all aglow with
new decorations and holiday cheer
The Spirit of Giving activities lit up streets in historic downtown Farmington Saturday evening when the community celebrated the season after more than a year when gathering was limited due to the pandemic.
The night before Old Man Winter showed up to drop more than a foot of snow that covered streets across the Twin Cities.
Upperclassmen from Farmington High School served as "Manbassadors" to host the four-hour community event. Each young man welcomed guests into the downtown sharing bright smiles and good humor as they were dressed up wearing festive hats and bright green and red suits. The young gentlemen served as tour guides to inform guests of all the free holiday-inspired fun activities put together by business owners and volunteers with the Spirit of Giving.
Free trolley rides pulled by an antique farm tractor transported guests to Christmas at the Village nearby at Dakota City Heritage Village near the fairgrounds. Children could take the challenge of taking part in the scavenger hunt, put together a candy cane craft or roast marshmallows over toasty fire pits on the street.
Guests could check out the young artistry from elementary children who engineered gingerbread houses with candy and frosting to resemble the historic buildings that stand in downtown Farmington.
The streets came alive with music sung by Farmington High student choirs and local choirs who sang together as one from local churches that sang traditional, favorite Christmas carols.
Homestead Church lit up the downtown on the corner of Third and Oak Streets. The church's glowing golden windows looked glorious in the oldest city building that stood vacant for nearly a decade. Lush green wreaths hung in each window adorned with white lights. The church welcomed all to explore their inner child and take a spin on the ice skating rink laid behind the church. The rink was all aglow with strings of twinkly white lights hung overhead.
The city invested in white snowflake lights hung on light posts to signify the season that brought new life to the shopping district.
Open fire pits have a warm venue for families to snuggle together and spend quiet time together roasting marshmallows for s'more treats.
Most retail small businesses and restaurants were open late to encourage local shopping and dining.
Farmington Police hung out to socialize with residents and greet guests while taking toy donations for the annual Toys for Town, the largest philanthropy event to that brings out the giving nature in residents. Next Saturday families will gather at Farmington High School to wrap hundreds of toys to delight children on Christmas morning. Dozens of volunteers will bag up donated groceries to deliver to local families that will make their holiday season bright.
This is second year for Spirit of Giving activities, although the gathering was limited last year due to social distancing required from the pandemic.