Christmas is coming to Merrill
TINA L. SCOTT
It’s official … Christmas is coming to Merrill and will soon be here. It’s now December, we’ve already seen a little snow, the City has the snowflakes up on the light poles around town, and Merrill is ready to get into the Christmas spirit.
Holiday Shop, Sip, and Support
The Merrill Area Enrichment Center, 303 N. Sales St. (the big red building on the northwest corner of the Merrill Festival Grounds) will host a Holiday Shop, Sip, and Support event on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event will feature local boutiques and direct sales vendors for some holiday shopping, and you can sip a favorite beverage while you shop. Admission is free and everyone who attends will be entered into a special drawing. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Christmas Spirit Lincoln County United Giving Tree Program.
Live Nativity/free Christmas movie
Trinity Lutheran Church will kick things off with their annual Outdoor Living Nativity and a free Christmas movie Friday evening, Dec. 2, 2022. [See separate article this week with details.]
Living River Christmas Concert
St. Stephens UCC, 903 E. Second St. in Merrill, will host Living River Quartet who will give a Christmas concert performance at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening, Dec. 2, in the church sanctuary. The public is invited, and free will offerings are welcome.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10:00 a.m., the O’Tannenbaum Tour will begin at St. Stephens Church in Merrill and will continue on Sunday, as well. [See separate article this week with details.}
A Very Merrill Christmas Parade
Then at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, the 32nd Annual Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce Very Merrill Christmas Parade will begin, set to delight parade-goers with more than 20 lighted floats with holiday/Christmas themes. And, as is tradition, children will get a peek at Santa Claus at the end of the parade, as he has promised to make an appearance.
Park Manor Luminary and Bell Tower gathering
Following the parade, residents and visitors are invited to take a driving or walking tour to see the 30th Annual Holiday Lights and Luminary. Merrill’s Park Manor neighborhood will host the event from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. with lit luminaries providing a magical opportunity for a scenic walk or hayride. The Park Manor neighborhood luminary begins on O’Day Street, goes down Tee Lane Drive, then around on Lark Street, and back through on Divot Street.
After a walking tour or hayride, all are invited to warm up at Bell Tower’s Assisi Hall with hot cider, hot chocolate, and cookies, where Santa will greet guests and pose for pictures. The Bell Tower Assisi Hall is accessed through the back parking lot.
Christmas movies will also be shown on a big screen. Free will donations accepted.
“Bring the whole family to enjoy this holiday tradition!” organizers said. This event is free, but donations are gladly accepted.
“This is my favorite event of the year,” area resident Sarah Sturm said of the Luminary. “The magic of the season really comes alive.”
“We moved into the neighborhood three years ago and were confused about what all the empty milk jugs in our attic were for!” she said. It didn’t take her too long to learn they are used annually for this event. “Our neighbors, the Tlustys, do a great job organizing the event,” Sturm said. “It’s a real neighborhood collaboration!”
Knights of Columbus Breakfast with St. Nick
The Merrill Knights of Columbus will present their Annual Breakfast with St. Nick in the St. Francis Xavier School cafeteria, 1708 E. 10th St. in Merrill, on Sunday, Dec. 4. Breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and more will be served, and children can visit with and have their pictures taken with St. Nick at no charge. A free will offering will be accepted, and proceeds will be used to benefit church and school programs at St. Francis and St. John the Baptist.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (on Hwy. 17 in Bloomville) will hold their Christmas Bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 4, as well, with a soup and chili lunch, bake sale, basket raffles, and sweepstakes raffle.
More holiday events, and more chances for the kids to see Santa are coming in the weeks to come, as well!