All welcome to activities on Saturday, Dec. 11

The Spirit of Giving is becoming contagious in Farmington.

Organizers for Spirit of Giving events ask residents to save the date of Saturday, Dec. 11 to come and take part in family-friendly, festive activities. 

Event leaders have been busy spreading good cheer and masterminding how to best teach youth how they can personally give back with random acts of kindness. Lessons are designed to inspire children to feel the joy of giving.

Local church and school choirs will be singing carols. Activities are inspired to give back to local businesses after the pandemic. There will be holiday hayrides, scavenger hunts, rides with Santa Claus, gingerbread houses, games, and fun holiday small business offerings.

Guests can bring toys to donate to Farmington Toys for Town donation bins scattered across the city.

Pam Heikkila, founder of A Spirit of Giving, shares how this holiday event originated as a philanthropic event that will become contagious.

“Stemming out of the difficulties of the COVID lockdown, I realized just how much people needed people,” Heikkila said. “Giving of themselves while accepting others giving back to them makes the world just beautiful, and there was such a drought of human interaction during that time,” she said.

“We didn’t feel well watered because we were socially separated as a community, and now A Spirit of Giving will hopefully bring the community together in a way that facilitates this . . . and there’s no better time of year as giving is naturally on everyone’s mind during the Christmas season,” Heikkila added.

A Spirit of Giving is also a part of the Farmington Public Schools curriculum. Lessons are designed to teach children the value of giving back. Each child can learn how to give back in small caring ways like kindness or work for the greater good of the community.

Karen Wisdorf, owner of TOWN Sports store in downtown Farmington, is collaborating with Farmington Elementary Principal Kim Bollesen to spread the spirit into the downtown area this year. Last year during the first A Spirit of Giving ended up being an “epic success” with FES students’ heart strings, Bollesen said.

This year Farmington Public Schools booster clubs, music groups and Farmington High School Robotics Club will compete to see which group can rally to gather the most donated toys for Farmington Toys for Town.

Educator Angie Carlson from Riverview Elementary will coordinate with businesses to help support her students’ famous recreations of Farmington buildings interpreted into festive gingerbread houses. Students will learn about the history of the commercial buildings and historic architecture in the downtown before the go to town and create candy covered, sweet gingerbread houses.

Riverview Elementary students will take part in scavenger hunts at school that will encourage random acts of kindness. Like paying someone a sincere compliment at each clue before moving on to the next clue in the hunt.

Sam DiMaggio, city community development director, created a special social media flyer to spread the spirit and notify residents of the day events. She and her staff have been busy sharing the Facebook page created to provide updates.

Guests can discover joy by jumping aboard the Ride with Santa Claus event. Rambling River Center’s Missie Kohlbeck will bus festival goers from the Weng’s Kitchen parking lot, and Santa Claus is reportedly coming to town. This event will surely spread the holiday spirit and provide warm memories for families.

Farmington Mayor Joshua Hoyt will be dressed in holiday garb to entertain and educate riders about Farmington.

Dakota Electric’s Peggy Johnson and Doreen Kennedy, president of Dakota City’s Board, will coordinate holiday hayrides pulled by vintage tractors.

Families can head out to Dakota City to take rides on horse-drawn carriages during the two weekends of events at Christmas at Dakota City in Farmington.

Farmington High School Choir Director Megan Dimich, along with two local pastors, will be coordinating school and church choirs to sing and raise spirits through holiday musical interludes.

El Charro Mexican restaurant in Farmington may host a Christmas mariachi band inside the restaurant located in the heart of downtown.

If weather permits, Homestead Church may lay an outdoor ice rink in the empty lot behind the church so there is space for ice skating under the lights.

Wendy Boos from Premier Bank will coordinate business activities and a game event in motion.

Heikkila Studios will spread the spirit with a Christmas Photo Booth in the alleyway with a festive tree, holiday bling, and a bale of hay for families to sit and capture moments. The monetary donations will be given to Farmington Police.

Amanda Stender of Pellicci Ace Hardware in Farmington is working to offer propane-operated fire tables or fire pits.

Pam McCarthy of American Family Insurance in Farmington is partnering with DiMaggio to create a plan to communicate all event to the public during the Spirit of Giving one-day event.

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