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Community celebrates ‘Merrysville for the Holidays’
MARYSVILLE — Comeford Park was bustling with an estimated 3,000 attendees for the 25th anniversary of “Merrysville for the Holidays” on Dec. 7, which extended well into the evening with the Electric Lights Parade at 6:30 p.m., followed by the traditional water tower lighting and the new fireworks show at 7 p.m. this year.
Tara Mizell, parks and recreation services manager for the city of Marysville, noted that the Electric Lights Parade numbered 41 entrants this year, up from 33 in 2012, 37 in 2011 and 24 in 2010. Among this year’s new entrants were the Marysville Getchell Marching Chargers, the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, the North Cascades Crew, the Regal Majesty Pageant, the Livingston family and Classic Designs, the latter of which was named the “Mayor’s Choice.”
“The crowd looked bigger than it has the last couple of years,” Mizell said. “The fireworks were a huge hit, and Santa was busy from the time he sat down, after the Electric Lights Parade, until 8:45 p.m. The line for photos with him and Mrs. Claus was constant. We used up hundreds of candy canes.”
Comeford Park itself served as the backdrop for countless family photos, with its inflatable miniature version of the Marysville water tower perhaps drawing the most snapshots of any of the outdoor decorations, according to Mizell.
“We saw folks taking pictures starting at 5 p.m., and they kept going until 8:30 p.m.,” said Mizell, who took care to share credit for the event with sponsors that included Ivar’s, Judd & Black, the local Kiwanis and Lions clubs, the Marysville Fire District, United Way of Snohomish County, the Marysville Dog Owners Group, Bourne Orthodontics and the Marysville Historical Society.
“Regis Hair Salon and The Competition Hair & Tanning Salon were back this year, after a few years’ hiatus, and we were thrilled to welcome them back to Merrysville for the Holidays,” said Mizell, who added that The Competition won “Most Creative” in the Electric Lights Parade, just as Holidays Ablaze won “Best Use of Lights.”
“I continuously hear from both residents and visitors that Merrysville for the Holidays still feels like a great community gathering in celebration of where we live,” city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ballew said. “Comeford Park is transformed by city staff into a great evening of lights and life, to be enjoyed by all, and the Marysville City Band was a great accompaniment to the fireworks show this year, which was completely paid for by E&E Lumber and Judd & Black, two Marysville businesses that take great pride in our partnerships.”
While the Marysville City Band currently boasts 38 members, they’re still aiming to reach a total of 60, which would require the addition of 12 clarinets, eight flutes, five trombones, four French horns, three baritone horns and two bassoons. They’re looking to start practicing the second week of January at Totem Middle School, and they invite anyone with any questions to contact conductor Nathan Sackman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It was a great reward to recognize Carol Kapua for all that she’s done for this community, in managing the Strawberry Festival Parade each year,” Ballew said of the Electric Lights Parade’s Grand Marshal this year, who threw the switch to light the water tower with the help of her 5-year-old grandson, Atticus Landerholn.
Since “Merrysville for the Holidays” received funds from the city’s hotel/motel tax grant program this year, event organizers asked attendees to share their places of residence on a map at the Ken Baxter Community Center, to see where visitors were coming from.
“We learned we had folks from South Korea, England, Bellingham, Woodinville, Everett, Arlington, Granite Falls, Monroe, Issaquah, Seattle, Tacoma and Gresham, Ore.,” Ballew said.