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Farmington Business Association doubles down on parties

Farmington businesses are teaming up to throw a couple of big parties this weekend, and everyone in town is invited.

The weekend of block parties will kick off Thursday at the Tamarack Ridge shopping center, then move downtown Saturday for a day of activities that will include a classic-car show, music from a steel-drum band and a steak fry put on by the Farmington VFW.

This is the second year for the Tamarack Ridge party, and organizers hope the event, which drew about 1,000 people last year, will be even bigger. There will be a climbing wall for kids and Dairy Queen will provide free root beer floats for anyone who brings a donation for the Farmington food shelf. Pellicci's Ace Hardware will demonstrate their Big Green Egg grill, and Farmington Billiards will participate.

"It's kind of all Highway 3," said organizer Grant Beyl. "We're trying to make it a whole community activity."

A change in schedule could help that. When the Tamarack businesses held their block party last year, it was two weeks away from the regular downtown event held by the Farmington Business Association. Organizers hope holding the two events closer together this time around will help build some excitement for the businesses and their Grow Farmington promotional efforts.

"Slowly but surely I think Grow Farmington is starting to sink into peoples' minds, that we want to be united and working together," said FBA president Clyde Rath.

In addition to the steel drums and the 200 to 250 classic cars that are expected to show up, Saturday's block party will feature music from a DJ and an opportunity to rent a Segway for short rides. Downtown businesses will have specials, and there will be other things for visitors to wander around and see.

Rath said the idea is to give people a reason to get out and explore Farmington.

"We originally did it for two reasons. One, we just used it as a vehicle to draw people to Farmington and to downtown Farmington specifically," Rath said. "The second thing is, we just want something where people can come, relax, kick back and have a little fun."

The FBA puts on a series of summer block parties that includes one on the north end of town during Dew Days.

There will be water stations available downtown in the event of hot weather, and a giant fan and mister that will help keep people cool.

The Thursday night party will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. at Tamarack Ridge Center at the corner of Highway 3 and 209th Street. The Saturday party will run from 4 to 11 p.m. downtown Farmington.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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