As we approach the holiday season, we naturally look forward to celebrating the people and traditions that are dear to us. In some cases, this year we may need to tweak the way we do things to protect the health of loved ones. Yet as the Marysville community has shown time and time again, I have great faith that we will adapt and create new ways to celebrate while cherishing community, family and friends. 

Although we aren’t holding large public gatherings at this time, the city is bringing some fun new ways for you to celebrate the Christmas season, and working with our community to support neighbors in need. 

New this year is Merrysville Home for the Holidays, a community decorative lighting challenge for homes and businesses. Let’s light up all Marysville neighborhoods to show off our community’s Christmas spirit! Residents and businesses who sign up by Dec. 1 will have their addresses included on a citywide self-guided lights map. You’ll also be eligible for prizes valued at $250 each donated by local sponsors to be awarded in the following categories: 

  • Best Use of Lights
  • Most Creative
  • Best Curb Appeal
  • Business with the Brightest Lights
  • Best 12th Man Fan Lights
  • Mayor’s Choice 

To enter, register by Dec. 1 at Starting Dec. 10, look for the self-guided lights map on the city’s website, Facebook and Nextdoor sites. It’s a great way to plan one or more nearby scenic Christmas season drives with your family. I know my young grandchildren will love it!

I’m excited to announce that we are having repairs done on the Comeford Park water tower this month so we can light up the tower again, a beloved Christmas tradition. Last year we introduced a ceremonial tree lighting, and this year we’re making that a virtual event you can watch from the comfort of your own home. Mark your calendar for the evening of Saturday, Dec. 5, and bring your own hot chocolate. Look for more details closer to the date. 

Finally, since 1985 this generous community has supported children and families in need through the Holiday Toy Store under the umbrella of the Marysville Community Food Bank. This program aims to provide gifts and a coat to every local child in need. 

For participating families, this year’s Toy Store will be held in a safe, socially-distanced manner. As they say, “We know it’s too important to our community to give up.” If you are able to help, donations are gratefully accepted. Here are some easy ways to donate: 

  • Mail a check made out to Marysville Community Food Bank with a note for “Toy Store” to: Marysville Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 917, Marysville, WA 98270-0917. 
  • Shop the Toy Store’s Amazon Registry at Gifts will ship directly to the Toy Store and as a bonus, Amazon will also donate a portion of your purchase to the Food Bank!
  • You can bring books, warm clothing and toy donations to the red barrels located at the Marysville Police Department (1635 Grove St.), Parks, Culture and Recreation (Jennings Park, 6915 Armar Rd.) and many local businesses throughout the city. 
  • You can also mail toy donations c/o Christie Veley to: Marysville Fire District, 1094 Cedar Ave, Marysville, WA 98270. 

Thank you for your consideration. As we look forward to Thanksgiving later this month, I want to wish you and your family the very best and say that I am so thankful to work with and for you, our Marysville community. 

Jon Nehring has been Mayor of Marysville since 2010. You can reach him at 360-363-8000 or


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