North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Community celebrates Merrysville for the Holidays


December 6, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Locals ride the Marysville Rotary train as part of Merrysville for the Holidays' Electric Lights Parade on Dec. 2.

Trucks and cars decorated for the holidays traveled down State Avenue as part of the 29th annual Merrysville for the Holidays celebration on Dec. 2.

The event marks the beginning of the holiday season for the city, with a water tower-lighting ceremony, the night-time Electric Lights Parade and pictures with Santa.

"Merrysville for the Holidays is a unique, fun event. It's great for community members to come out and have fun together," said Andrea Kingsford, recreation coordinator with the City of Marysville.

"It just builds a strong Marysville," she said.

This year's Merrysville for the Holidays featured a lot of rain, although the streets were still lined with people.

"It went really well. Despite the rain, people had a lot of fun," said Kingsford.

Local Tonya Edie said she has come with her family the last two years to the event.

"It's pretty fun. We like the parade. Last time we didn't see Santa though because the line was too long," she said.

Local organizations, businesses and government departments decorate their vehicles with Christmas lights to participate in the parade.

"The amount of lights that some of the folks had on their cars was just amazing," said Kingsford.

This year's parade included new participants like the Bikes of Snohomish group.

"It was nice having the new participants in the parade," said Kingsford. "It's a great opportunity for organizations to get out there with the parade."

This year's grand marshal was Jim Ballew, director of the city's Parks, Culture and Recreation Department.

"Jim Ballew started Merrysville for the Holidays 29 years ago and it just seemed like the perfect fit because he started this all off," said Kingsford.

"Who knew 29 years later that it would still be such a big part of the community. And it's changed over the years and we still add new things, but it's still wonderful," she said.

Ballew, who usually narrates the local parades for the downtown audience near Comeford Park, including this parade, was met with a surprise when he came down and found his son narrating the parade this year in his place.

After the parade, Ballew and City Council president Kamille Norton lit the water tower, with a new addition to the tower lights.

"This year we did something new and the firefighters from our community climbed the tower and threw on some new lights," said Ballew.

Families got pictures with Santa Claus at the Ken Baxter Community Center after the lighting and the downtown Marysville merchants announced winners for their Elf on the Shelf event.

The new event was done by downtown businesses including Wrenhaven Vintage Market, 3rd Street Marketplace, 3rd Street Books, La Vintage Finds, Hilton Pharmacy and Amri's Salon.

Participating businesses hid elves throughout the store and kids who found all six of them were entered for a prize which was given out at Merrysville for the Holidays.

"It was a lot of fun because we were constantly moving the elf each day, so we were finding the elves ourselves each day too," said Kim Reynolds, co-owner of the downtown 3rd Street Marketplace.

Mary Kirkland, owner of Hilton Pharmacy, said that she had to help some of the kids out.

"We played a lot of 'hot' and 'cold' in our store," she said.

Reynolds said that along with Small Business Saturday, it was meant to promote small businesses.

"A part of reminding people to shop local and supporting their local merchants," she said.

The downtown merchants are planning to hold the Elf on the Shelf hunt again next year, she said.


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