Large crowd turns out for tree-lighting ceremony, Christmas Parade in downtown Farmington

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Accompanied by a chorus of jingling bells, dozens of floats, marching bands and other entries made their way down Main Street through downtown Farmington on Dec. 2 as the community celebrated its annual Christmas Parade.

The event, presented by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, drew more than 100 entries, 68 of them floats, according to chamber president and CEO Jamie Church, who said it was the largest number of participants she had seen in her time with the organization. She also was pleased with the size of the crowd, which was several people deep through most of the parade route.

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Frosty the Snowman peeks out the back window of a four-wheel drive vehicle during the Christmas Parade down Main Street through downtown Farmington on Dec. 2.

"It was so wonderful to be doing an event like that again and see the community turn out, too," she said.

The festivities began at 5 p.m. on the lawn of the Farmington Civic Center, where City Councilor Sean Sharer was joined by Jyl Adair and Steve Hansen of Presbyterian Medical Services in lighting the community Christmas tree.

Sharer led the crowd in a countdown from 10, when he, Adair and Hansen pressed a button that was supposed to illuminate the tree. But while several smaller, surrounding trees lit up at that moment, it took several more seconds before the lights on the taller, main tree came on, finally drawing a round of delayed applause.

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A float spraying fake snow is towed down Main Street through downtown Farmington on Dec. 2 during the annual Christmas Parade.

The crowd that had assembled for that ceremony then migrated south a block to Main Street to join the folks who already had staked out front-row seats to the parade. The atmosphere was buoyed by the tinkling of 4,000 small silver bells that were handed out to children along the parade route, courtesy of Farmington's M&R Trucking Inc.

The Hermosa Middle School Student Council took top honors in the nonprofit float competition, Church said, with the Farmington High School Diné Club finishing second. Feliz Navidad was third, and the Cliffhangers Jeep Club received honorable mention.

In the commercial division, the Inspire Dance Academy and the Beat House Dance Studio shared top honors, followed by Pretty Pooch and Kitty Too!, and Navajo Agricultural Products Industry.

A color guard unit marches at the head of the Christmas Parade through downtown Farmington on Dec. 2.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or Support local journalism with a digital subscription.