People and rucks adorned in Christmas decorations and lights came down State Avenue in Marysville as the annual Merrysville for the Holidays was held on Dec. 1.
The event marks the beginning of the holiday season for many community members and this year was the 30th anniversary of the event.
“We started with the Chamber of Commerce and our department with a parade of about a dozen floats. We started at Fred Meyer and we moved until it got down to here to Comeford Park,” said Jim Ballew, director of the Parks, Culture and Recreation Department for the city of Marysville.
“It wasn’t very safe, but it was a lot of fun. It’s matured since then and we’ve shortened up the parade,” he said.
Ballew said there weren't many people with the city that were there for the start of the event, although Mary Swenson, former city administrator, now retired, was one of the people who began the event and was this year’s parade Grand Marshall.
In recent years the parade averages between 30 and 40 floats.
The activities at Comeford Park have also grown over the years, said Ballew, with more photo opportunities and other activities provided by organizations like the Tulalip Lions Club and the Downtown Marysville Merchants Association.
“It has been a nice community growth event. We’re not getting smaller, and we may need a new venue someday,” said Ballew, who added when the waterfront area gets developed into a large park that could be a venue one day.
“That would be a dream and fun to do it down there,” he said.
Ballew said good weather and a good schedule of activities brought out a large crowd this year.
“We all think it’s our largest turnout yet. We’re estimating about 10,000 people and we’re normally half that,” he said.
Some of those, like local parent Carry Albro, have been to the event before. She and her children walked in the parade with retirement community Grandview Village.
“I like all the lights,” she said, “and it’s just fun for the kids to get out.”
Other parents, like Kathryn Kennedy, are coming to the event for the first time.
“We actually heard about it when we were at the Dollar Store. There was someone buying a bunch of decorations and she told us it was for the parade and that Santa was going to be down here,” she said.
She said her son enjoyed the parade and the event.
“The live music was fun and Santa in the fire truck was really cool,” she said.
This year’s parade included Marysville utility vehicles, a Marysville School District bus and vehicles from local businesses decorated in holiday lights.
“I was so impressed by all the hard work that all the participants put into it this year,” said Andrea Kingsford, recreation coordinator with the city of Marysville’s Parks, Culture and Recreation Department.
“They really came out and did a great job with the lights and costumes,” she said.
The parade also had a truck decorated as a Christmas present this year, something it’s never had before.
“There was a wrapped truck, completely covered in wrapping paper,” said Kingsford.
Ballew said that people like the event because they can come down to meet other community members.
“It’s an opportunity to get together and celebrate Marysville,” said Ballew.
“This community loves to feel small. We’re growing, we’re 70,000 population, but when we can celebrate as a community it just feels right and people enjoy that,” he said.
He wanted to thank Maryfest for donating bleachers this year for the event and Marysville police, street and parks department members for their work to put it on.