FARMINGTON — For the first time since 2019, San Juan County residents will be able to enjoy the full range of Freedom Days events this year as the annual Fourth of July celebration in Farmington returns in full swing after restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic ended.
The festivities run from Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4, and include concerts, fireworks, children’s activities, art performances, and of course, the parade.
The celebration begins with the San Juan Gem and Mineral Show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at McGee Park, 41 County Road 5568. Organizer Tory Bonner said about 30 vendors are expected for this year’s event, which is expected to attract a crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 visitors over three days.
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The show was taking place at the Farmington Civic Center, but Bonner said it was moved to McGee Park when the Civic Center underwent a renovation, and found a new home on the fairgrounds.
While the show is a magnet for rock dogs and jewelry lovers, Bonner said it also offers plenty of things for kids to do, including fluorescent metal shows, rock polishing shows and even a gold digging activity where kids are encouraged to hunt for crystals.
He said food vendors would come in handy as well.
In downtown Farmington, the celebration begins with a TGIF concert at 11 a.m. Friday at Orchard Plaza by Nina Sasaki. The Summer Art Walk will follow at 5 p.m., with galleries, shops, and restaurants throughout the area showcasing the work of dozens of artists and live music at Orchard Plaza.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the E3 Children’s Museum and Science Center, 302 N. Orchard Ave. , an ice cream social event presented by the Farmington Museum Foundation. Event chair Jill McQuarrie said the event is being revived this year after a five-year absence.
“It was very popular and everyone loved it,” she said. “No matter who you talk to, they are glad you got it back.”
The meeting includes an ice cream eating contest kicked off by KSJE-FM’s Scott Michelin, magic tricks by Barryn Vaughan, yoyo demonstrations by Luke Renner, face painting, straw rides, drag, Disney princesses appearances, DJs, and actor performances. Produced by Four Corners Musical Theater for “The Pirates of Penzance,” an immersion tank will offer visitors a chance to drop County Administrator Mike Stark, Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett, Police Chief Steve Hebe and others into a water tank.
Macquarie said the event will feature both soft and hard ice cream, which was donated by Baskin Robbins, along with a variety of toppings.
“I hope we have several hundred people,” she said.
Next on the list is a free outdoor concert by Chevel Shepherd at Farmington Civic Center Park, 200 W. Arrington St. , Saturday. The event begins at 5 p.m. with food trucks and a splash pad before Shepherd takes the stage at 7 p.m. Party-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket and basket, and enjoy a pre-show picnic.
Another concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday in which Kismah Brass 2.0 will present a 75-minute program of patriotic and spirited tunes on the balcony of the Farmington Museum in Gateway Park, 3041 E. Main St, according to arranger Mick Hesse. The 10-piece brass band will perform music by John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin and others, while the Choir of Sacred Voice will join the group to perform “America Beautiful”, a Ukrainian Prayer, and “Always See the Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python artist Eric Edel.
At 9:25 p.m. Sunday, the annual Farmington fireworks display begins on Sullivan Hill at Corner 30The tenth Street and College Boulevard, with the event broadcast simultaneously on KWYK-FM 94.9.
The list of Freedom Days activities ends at dusk on Mondays when the annual electric light show goes off at approximately 9 p.m. on Main Street through downtown Farmington. Dozens of floats and marchers will light up the night with colorful and fanciful entries from Wall Street to South Schwartz Street. The event is presented by the Farmington Rotary Club.
For more information about Freedom Days, call 505-326-7602.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or [email protected] Supporting local press with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.