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Community turns out to celebrate ‘Merrysville for the Holidays’
MARYSVILLE — Even before the evening’s events, the Marysville community celebrated various festivities throughout Saturday, Dec. 3, to kick off the winter holiday season.
While the merchants of Second, Third and Fourth streets drew visitors through their “Passport to Christmas” prize program from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Outer Court by the Carabinieri Bar coffee stand on Third Street had its own Santa available for photos from 1-4 p.m.
“We must have gotten between $50 and $60 in cash, plus $20 to $30 worth of toys and $60 to $75 worth of food,” said Misty Creel at 2 p.m., as she collected for Allen Creek Community Church’s “Seeds of Grace” from the nearly 30 families who had stopped by within an hour. “Seeds of Grace serves about 100 to 200 families a week, so every bit helps.”
The Marysville Historical Society also had Santa on hand for photos from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gehl House in Jennings Park, with the $10 per family going toward their capital campaign. Steve and Donna Muller took the photos and donated the time and labor out of their own pockets, while Marysville DECA students served as Santa’s elves.
“Santa had about 120 candy canes when he started, and he’s got about 40 left, so that’s about 80 kids,” Steve Muller said at 2:30 p.m. “We usually get about 100, which is plenty,” he laughed. “Between the photos and the $150 in raffle tickets we’ve sold, we’ll probably raise a total of $700 for the day.”
Marysville’s Marina Acero had brought her son Eddie for photos with Santa last year. This year, 9-year-old Eddie returned, but with his 1-year-old brother Emiliano in tow.
“It’s a good time to share with family and friends,” Marina Acero said of the day’s activities.
“It’s fun to be with the kids and make them laugh,” Marysville Getchell High School senior Mayra Hernandez said, as she led children through coloring in the Jennings Park barn while they waited to see Santa next door.
Hours before the 23rd annual “Merrysville for the Holidays” Electric Lights Parade passed by Comeford Park on State Avenue at 6:30 p.m., the Ken Baxter Community Center was already attracting crowds to the park with its annual Holiday Craft Show, which ran from 2-8:30 p.m. and featured 14 indoor and 10 outdoor vendors this year.
“We’ve worked to maintain a variety while keeping up with current trends,” city Recreation Coordinator Maryke Burgess said. “We’ve mixed together customers’ favorites with new crafters each year. This is our second year of outdoor vendors, and we’re definitely seeing more turnout when we let our crafters set up early. Our vendors sell more and the crowds steadily rise throughout the day.”
Stanwood’s Jill Steele sampled the teas of Amy Lawrence’s Bothell-based “Afternoon to Remember” in the Ken Baxter Community Center, while Suzi Parks of “Heart to Heart Designs by Suzi” had such a positive experience at the center’s Autumn Craft Show that she came all the way from Camano Island to sell her uniquely constructed books in Marysville again.
“I met a lot of neat people and sold a lot of our books,” Parks said, echoing fellow Autumn Craft Show vendor Debbie Roscoe, who likewise returned to the Ken Baxter Community Center on Dec. 3 to sell her handmade soaps because “I love the people I run into at these events, and Maryke is just wonderful.”
Marysville’s Quinn and Lisa Johnson have lived in Marysville for five years, but it wasn’t until they could find a babysitter this year that they were able to attend “Merrysville for the Holidays” and watch as Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring lit the city water tower.
“I love stuff like the soaps,” Quinn said at the Holiday Craft Show. “When we heard that the parade was back, we had to check it out.”
“This holiday festival is wonderful for showcasing local artists and getting the community out together,” Lisa said.
Jim Johnson brought the whole family down to Comeford Park for the afternoon and evening, as he’s done for years.
“It’s a night out on the town with the young ones,” Johnson said, as 6-year-old daughter Makena Keller made holiday crafts of her own outdoors. “They like the activities and get to learn the culture of the city, and we get to do things with our kids that are fairly inexpensive. With times the way they are, it’s great when you can excite the kids without having to break the bank.”