MARYSVILLE – Downtown Marysville was aglow with holiday cheer on Saturday as warm-dressed festival-goers enjoyed the annual Merrysville for the Holidays celebration and Electric Lights Parade.
Hundreds of residents and visitors lined State Avenue for the parade, and packed into Comeford Park to take in all the sights and sounds of the community tradition now in its 28th year.
The parade featured a flotilla of vehicles, floats, marching bands and walking groups decked out in their finest dazzling holiday lights and Christmas wear.
The parade ended with the arrival of a waving Santa and Mrs. Claus atop a hook and ladder fire truck.
Parks Director Jim Ballew believes that this may have been the largest turnout in the 28-year history of the parade.
“It was a great night in Merrysville,” Ballew said. “It was literally a perfect evening until we ended at 8 p.m. when the rain came.”
After the parade, the water tower lighting officially kicked off the holiday season in Marysville. Mayor Jon Nehring passed the duties for throwing the light switch “on” to parade grand marshal Tom King, a longtime community volunteer who serves as president of the Marysville Kiwanis Club, donates time to the food bank, and a variety of other causes.
Merrysville for the Holidays is all about bringing the community and visitors together for holiday fun, with holiday photo display booths, outdoor craft show, a community bonfire, and live music.
Fair-goers were enchanted by the winter wonderland scenery.
Robyn Warren attended the celebration with fellow Marysville Sunrise Rotary Club members, who also participated in the parade. She said Merrysville for the Holidays is a special event for all ages that brings out the good in people and the community.
“I love this event,” she said. “It’s really so much fun for the kids. There is so much for them to do.”
The craft table at the Girl Scouts of Western Washington booth was so popular with kids, they ran out of art supplies for ornaments – and Girl Scout cookies.
Kids were welcome to stop by the booth to make a snowflake ornament, and were encouraged to add “2016” to commemorate the memories and fun they had at this year’s event, said volunteer Tina Bielle.
Gina Peterson brought her wide-eyed 4-year-old son Travis to Comeford Park. This was the family’s first time attending the event from Lake Stevens.
What was her son’s favorite part of the celebration?
“Santa Claus!” Travis said. He saw Santa and Mrs. Claus on top of the fire truck at the end of the parade, and met him in person.
MariAnne McGuire of Marysville ended the evening enjoying the musical performance from the band, Soulevard, along with family members including her son, grandson and daughter-in-law.
“It’s a wonderful, safe community event,” McGuire said.