The man behind Merrysville for the Holidays, the city’s immensely popular holiday celebration, has a new role this year: Grand Marshal, an honor bestowed by Mayor Jon Nehring.
Jim Ballew, Director of Marysville Parks, Culture and Recreation, has shepherded the festival since its start 29 years ago with Santa, cookies and music in the former gazebo at Comeford Park. The holiday parade and water tower lighting came a few years later. Festival elements have changed, yet community spirit remains at the celebration’s core.
“Establishing a tradition that’s really important to this community -- I’m proud of that,” Ballew said.
Parks staff starts preparing for the Merrysville celebration mid-year and their energy increases as the date gets closer.
“On the day of,” he said, “we feel like Santa’s elves.”
Saturday, Dec. 2 - Downtown Marysville, 5th & State