Merced County Times Newspaper
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Downtown Merced poised for best Christmas Parade ever


The Christmas spirit will descend upon the Merced area this weekend with a bevy of holiday events that are sure to please even the most Grinch-like among us. 

You’ll read about all of them through the pages of this week’s Merced County Times newspaper. However, nothing can compare to the biggest, most wonderful, hometown spectacle of the all: The Merced Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2, starting at 3 p.m.

Hundreds of residents are expected to line Main Street for the festive extravaganza that promises joy, music, and holiday cheer for the entire community. 

“The dedicated team behind the Merced Christmas Parade has been diligently preparing for this spectacular event since last July,” says Kimberly Garner, one of the lead organizers. “We are absolutely delighted by the overwhelming interest we’ve received, having doubled the number of entries compared to last year. We invite everyone to join us in ushering in the festive season in the heart of our charming downtown, surrounded by friends and family.”

This year’s parade — set to the enchanting theme of “All I Want for Christmas” — will feature a dazzling display of eight marching bands, 30 floats, and more than 80 parade entries in total, all coming together to create a spectacle of festive brilliance.

The enchantment begins at 3 p.m. on Main Street, where the streets will come alive with the vibrant sights and sounds of the holiday season. As the parade winds its way through the heart of Merced, it will pave the way for the much-anticipated annual tree lighting ceremony in Bob Hart Square, scheduled to take place around 6 p.m.

What makes this year’s celebration truly extraordinary is the special surprise awaiting children in Bob Hart Square, generously provided by sponsors such as the Merced Main Street Association, The Merced Marching 100 Boosters, and MERCO Credit Union. 

Also, the Merced Lions Club, Soroptimist International, and MERCO will be spreading warmth and delight by offering free hot chocolate and pan dulce in and around Bob Hart Square, creating a cozy haven for families to gather and enjoy the festive spirit.

To kick off the Christmas season with even more magic, the El Capitan Hotel will be offering a wonderful opportunity for kids of all ages to capture timeless memories with free photos with Santa in Bob Hart Square beginning at 2 p.m.

This year’s Merced Christmas Parade is not just an event; it’s a community celebration that brings together the spirit of the holidays. ch-anticipated annual tree lighting ceremony in Bob Hart Square, scheduled to take place around 6 pm.

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