FARMINGTON — Amy Morin and her husband Nate always make it to the Chester Greenwood Day festivities in Farmington.

“It’s a lot of fun; we go every year,” she said, referring to the winter festival in its 34th year of honoring the hometown inventor most famous for his cold-weather fashion icon. “We get a kick out of the Chester Greenwood earmuff thing.”

This year the couple has more than just the earmuff-themed floats parading down Main Street and other holiday activities on their mind.

This is the first time their downtown business, Black Bear Graphics & Supply, will have a retail presence to cater to the hundreds of tourists visiting for the day, and the couple is gearing up to take advantage of the added traffic.

Special sale prices are in place for the weekend, and the event has inspired some Chester Greenwood and earmuff designs to add to the store’s clothing items for sale, said Morin.

“It’s a great event because it does bring tons of people downtown,” she said.

In recent years, there have been about 2,500 people who come to town for the day, and local business people are always trying to draw more, according to Lorna Nichols, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, event sponsor.

“With the chamber promoting it and being involved in the Farmington community, we’ve been able to work with businesses and groups to grow the event,” she said. “It’s a huge boost to the local economy and tourism.”

News affiliates from as far away as Australia have reached out to the chamber for information on Greenwood and the town for documentaries, according to Nichols, and school children from the Midwest studying the inventor have sent letters with questions.

“We get national and international attention because it is so unique and quirky,” she said.

The festivities are spread throughout town most of Saturday, with the parade starting at 11 a.m. There will be wagon rides, food served, as well as holiday and seasonal activities. More information can be found at www.franklincountymaine.org or by calling the chamber at 778-4215.

Corey Ellis, owner of a Main Street retail store called Mooseville, said this is his first year as a downtown business owner, and just the event buildup during the past few weeks has given the store a boost.

“We’re very excited about the Chester Greenwood Day,” he said. “It’s going to be more traffic and just bring more people around to show them what there is to offer in downtown Farmington.”

 

David Robinson — 861-9287

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