MERIDIAN – The annual Christmas in Meridian series of events gets underway soon and includes activities for all ages. A highlight for the community is the Winter Lights Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting that rings in the holiday season at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6.
“Our community has really come together to develop a fantastic schedule of events that truly celebrate this special time of year and is sure to get everyone into the holiday spirit,” said Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd. “Our Parks and Recreation staff have put a lot of love into these free events, to make them nothing less than magical.”
To view the full schedule of events and festivities, visit www.meridiancity.org/christmas or call Meridian Parks & Recreation at 208-888-3579.
Here are some highlights:
Winter Lights Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting (Friday, Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m.)
Local radio personalities Ken Bass and Deb Courson from 94.9 The River will provide the color commentary for this year’s parade, then be joined by Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd for the Christmas Tree Lighting. The expanded parade viewing area begins at Meridian City Hall, travels down Main Street, to Carlton Avenue, and circles back on 2nd Street ending at Broadway. Attendees can expect an hour-long parade filled with brightly lit floats, marching bands, and costumed walking entries decorated to celebrate the holiday season.
Look for free hot cocoa stands throughout the parade route offered by local businesses or organizations. Be sure to arrive at the parade in time to view How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It will be projected on an exterior wall of the Heritage Building at the corner of Idaho Avenue and Main Street at 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Food trucks will be onsite with hot dinner options. The evening culminates with the lighting of the City’s Christmas tree and a burst of fireworks in Generations Plaza. Stay after for visits with Santa and free horse-drawn carriage rides.
Drivers should watch for delays and road closures in downtown beginning at noon on Friday, Dec. 6 and extending throughout the evening. Traffic may be slow moving and delayed at the I-84 exit merging onto Meridian Road heading north during the parade from 6:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m. Main Street and the entire parade route will close at 4:00 p.m. on Friday. Drivers can also expect delays at Franklin & Main and at Meridian road intersections.
The City would like to remind parade goers that Meridian City Hall’s parking lot is reserved for ADA parking and those who need additional assistance.
The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade is Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd. This will be Mayor Tammy’s final Christmas in Meridian parade in her role as Mayor. Mayor Tammy was the City’s first female Mayor and led the City for 16 years.
Candy Cane Fun Run (Friday, Dec. 6, 6:20 p.m.)
Start a new holiday tradition that is both fun and fit. The Candy Cane Fun Run, produced by The Pulse Running and Fitness Shop, will lead the parade and run the route ending at Meridian Community Center on Idaho and 2nd Street. The distance is only one mile, so even the youngest ones can participate. Sign up early for just $8 and receive a string of wearable lights or simply show up and register on the day of the fun run on Friday, Dec. 6 at The Pulse Running and Fitness Shop prior to 6:00 p.m. Costumes, ugly sweater and lights are highly encouraged!
Twilight Christmas Market (Wednesday, Dec. 11, Noon – 7:00 p.m.)
Come enjoy a unique indoor-outdoor holiday shopping experience at the Meridian Twilight Christmas Market, featuring the handiwork of nearly 50 local artisans and crafters. Admission and parking are free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, as well. Look for pop-up vendors in Downtown businesses. Pick up a map and submit an entry for the Downtown Business Decorating Contest.
Children’s Winterland Festival (Saturday, Dec. 14, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Bring your kids to the Children’s Winterland Festival at the Meridian Boys and Girls Club for pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, trolley rides, Christmas games and craft projects, presented by All American Insurance. Admission is free with a can of food or a cash donation benefiting the Meridian Food Bank. For a list of suggested holiday food donation needs, visit www.meridianfoodbank.org/.
Downtown Lights Business Decorating Contest (Dec. 6-15)
Meridian’s downtown businesses will compete for People’s Choice awards in the annual Meridian Downtown Business Decorating Contest. Christmas revelers can visit each business at their convenience and vote online for their favorite Dec. 6 – 15. A map listing the participating business locations will be available during the parade and tree lighting. A downloadable map can be found at www.meridiancity.org/christmas. The People’s Choice winner will be announced on December 16. Shoppers can view the winning displays all season long.
And More Activities:
Children can drop a letter to Santa into Santa’s Mailbox beginning Wednesday, Nov. 27 and get a personal response. Letters delivered to the mailbox by 5:00 pm on December 20 will receive a response in the mail before Christmas (make sure to include a return address). Santa’s Mailbox is located on the lawn of Meridian City Hall near Broadway Avenue.
Check out the Salvation Army Angel Tree located in Meridian City Hall’s main lobby, November 25 – December 12. Choose from a variety of wish tags and purchase a toy for a local child in need.
Visit the Little Free Library book exchange box located in Meridian City Hall’s outdoor plaza. It will be filled with Christmas and winter-themed books throughout the entire month of December. Choose a book or two for your family to enjoy, or drop off some holiday books for others to enjoy.
The 2019 sponsors for Christmas in Meridian activities include The Goddard School, Dutch Bros, All American Insurance, Inc., The Pulse Running and Fitness Shop, 94.9 FM The River, 107.1 K-Hits, and the Meridian Downtown Business Association.