So what is Country Christmas? It is an annual event which runs this year from November 28th to December 1st, featuring an array of fun, holiday-related activities. This volunteer-driven weekend features a Community Christmas Concert, the Light-up Christmas Parade, Craft Fair, Santa’s Village and Breakfast with Santa. In short, it is a weekend not to be missed in Merritt!
Country Christmas kicks off every year with the Community Christmas Concert at the Merritt Civic Centre. Admission is by donation of cash or a non-perishable food item for the food bank. The goal of the concert is to celebrate community and provide a space for locals to come out and share their talents. Participants in the event include the Bench Choir, the Community Choir, and the Catholic Church Choir, the Merritt Dance Society’s Ballet classes and this year the Snee Family. In addition, the Arts Council’s Grand Piano will be featured in a variety of musical numbers.
Following the concert, the Light-up parade is one of the most successful night-time Christmas Parades in North America. Organized by the Merritt & District Chamber of Commerce, the parade features 40-50 floats created by local businesses and organizations and, of course, Santa Claus. At the parade’s end, many businesses remain open or host midnight madness events. Over 500 people attend the parade, and a panel of judges selects the winner of the best decorated, lights, original idea, theme, school and most enthusiastic.
The Country Christmas Craft Fair is open on Friday and runs until Saturday evening. The craft fair features local and out-of-town crafters selling everything from baked goods to unique hand-crafted gifts. Don’t miss stopping in to see the wonderful gifts.
Throughout the weekend, Santa’s Village is open. This year it will be hosted at the Culture Club where you can sit down with Santa and have your photo taken. The Village will open up Friday night after the parade, and on Saturday from 10am-12pm and 1-3 pm. Be sure to come and say hi to Santa and his helpers!
The weekend wraps up with the City of Merritt hosting a Breakfast with Santa.
Check out Heidi’s blog about last years events!
Schedule of Events:
Wed, Nov 27th 6:30pm
Love to Dance/Merritt Dance Society: Twelve Months in Merritt
A dance recitial presented by Love to Dance Academy. Free for everyone. Civic Centre doors open at 6pm program starts at 6:30pm, everyone welcome raffles and silent auction too!
Thurs, Nov 28th Doors open @ 6pm concert at 7pm
Country Christmas Concert
Merritt Civic Centre
Admission by cash donation or donation of non-perishable items for the Food Bank. Concert will feature a ballet performance by Dance Society’s students, The Snee Family, Catholic Church, Bench Choir, Community Kids Choir, Community Choir and much more!
Fri, Nov 29th @ 7pm
Country Christmas Light-up Parade
The Parade starts at Civic Centre, goes down Quilchena and ends by Coopers Foods. Last year there were 25 floats and this year there may be more! Join in the fun, dress warmly and celebrate the holidays with the annual Country Christmas Parade.
After the Parade ends:
Merritt Community Band will be performing at the Foyer of the Civic Centre after the Parade.
Baillie House will have free hot chocolate, tea and coffee and a bake sale until 10pm.
Midnight Madness – hourly sales and a youth Christmas Card display with proceeds going to the Food Bank.
Fri, Nov 29 – Sat, Nov 30
Merritt Civic Centre
Admission is free and there are a lot of unique hand-crafted items for sale including jewelry, baked goods, carvings and much more! The lunch they host is delicious! Craft Fair Hours are Friday Nov 29th 2-10pm; Saturday Nov 30th 9am-4pm. FMI contact Sharon at 250.378.6518.
Fri, Nov 29 – Sun, Dec 1st
Culture Club (2058 Granite Ave)
Open Friday after parade until 10pm, Saturday 10-12 and 1-3 pm. Come by and say hello to Santa and his helpers. Brought to you by the Merritt & District Chamber of Commerce.
December 1st @ 9-11am
Breakfast with Santa
Merritt Civic Centre
No Country Christmas is complete without a pancake breakfast with Santa. Tickets are available at the Civic Centre or Aquatic Centre for $5 or $7 at the door.
Events are sponsored by: City of Merritt, Merritt Printing, Merritt Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Nicola Valley, Q101 and Merritt Herald