The Merrysville for the Holidays parade in downtown Marysville in 2016. (Contributed photo)

The Merrysville for the Holidays parade in downtown Marysville in 2016. (Contributed photo)

Merrysville for the Holidays celebrates 30 years

Mary Swenson helped put together the first celebration. She leads the parade on Saturday.

MARYSVILLE — Mary Swenson helped put together the first community-wide holiday celebration in Comeford Park.

She’s leading the parade Saturday for its 30th anniversary. She plans to bring her 7-year-old granddaughter, Aiyla Swenson.

Merrysville for the Holidays begins at 5 p.m., at the intersection of Fifth Street and State Avenue. Guests can expect a photo booth, craft show and live music before the parade starts at 6:30 p.m. The lights on the water tower are illuminated after.

Swenson worked at the city when the festival was introduced in 1989. The population is nearly five times the size it was then.

“To keep that small-town feel with this event I think is pretty incredible,” she said.

About 2,000 people came to the initial event, which is less than half of the crowd it has been drawing in recent years.

Santa Claus was at the first celebration, along with an 18-vehicle parade that started at Fred Meyer and ended at the park. The route is shorter now with double the number of parade participants, including marching bands.

Former Mayor Rita Matheny plugged in the blue and white lights on the water tower that first year. She was the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor. She died in 2006.

The landmark at Comeford Park has been decorated nearly the same way each holiday season. The tank ends up looking like a giant drum.

Matheny organized the event with Parks, Culture and Recreation Director Jim Ballew.

“Jim has really been the one that put it all together and has kept it going,” Swenson said.

Swenson was a city employee for more than three decades before she retired in 2010. She started as an administrative secretary, and worked to become the city administrator.

Swenson most looks forward to the children’s excitement each year as they wait to talk to Santa Claus. She also likes to watch the tower brighten up.

There weren’t many community events when her career started. She’s happy to see that this one is still growing.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

Talk to us

More in Local News

This crash in Monroe happened early Friday morning after police discontinued a high-speed chase. Both occupants were taken to a hospital. (Monroe Police Department) 20211022
2 seriously injured in Monroe crash; DUI suspected

The driver hit a center lane divider and rolled his car. Police are investigating him for vehicular assault.

Alejandro Meza watches a video of the altercation he had with Gene Peterson on Community Transit bus during opening statements of his trial on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Murder trial opens for man who shot stranger on Everett bus

Alejandro Meza got into a fight with a passenger over drug use, he claimed. His attorneys say he acted in self-defense.

Police are searching for a female suspect following a burglary at the Masjid Umar Al-Farooq Mosque in Mountlake Terrace. (City of Mountlake Terrace)
Police arrest suspect in Mountlake Terrace mosque burglary

Another person remained at large, after burglars took prayer rugs and Qurans then threw them in a dumpster.

Arlington schools briefly on lockout; students, staff safe

A Mukilteo resident reportedly intended to die by suicide in a school parking lot. They were found and referred to care.

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, center, greets a new trooper during a graduation ceremony, as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on in the Rotunda at the Capitol Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. The class of 31 troopers completed more than 1,000 hours of training and will now work for the WSP across the state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Rather than get vaccine, nearly 2,000 state workers lose jobs

Ten troopers north of Seattle, 54 Monroe prison workers and hundreds more across the state refused the governor’s mandate.

Top row: Vanessa Edwards (left) and Ray Sheldon Jr. Bottom row (from left): Connor Krebbs, Wade Rinehardt and Katie Jackson. (Not pictured: Sherry Weersing)
After year of tumult, new faces vie for Marysville School Board

One candidate is concerned about “Critical Race Theory.” Others see more pressing issues.

Lake Stevens worker’s protection order granted against boss

The worker and his boss, Public Works Director Eric Durpos, were put on leave for an incident at a grievance meeting.

Police: ‘Prolific’ Marysville thief stole from dozens of gym lockers

The suspect, 23, was arrested this week for investigation of more than 55 felonies.

Most Read