submitted by Carlos Card
Christmas in Merrickville is one of the largest holiday community events in the Ottawa Valley. The event has been held for 33 years and typically attracts an average of 5,000 visitors.
This event is traditionally held on the first Saturday of December and this year, that day falls on December 2, 2023. This is a daylong event that runs from 9 am to 6pm.
The day begins with Breakfast with Santa at our local legion, followed by an artisan’s market in our local community centre.
The Christmas Parade follows at 11 am. The Parade typically takes an hour to move through the Village, as it is quite large. Floats are usually entered in the Parade by RBC, Parkview Homes, Lockwood Brothers, and many other regional businesses.
Following the Parade, the road running through the main shopping district, St Lawrence Street, is closed to vehicular traffic for several blocks for the remainder of the day. Fire barrels are placed at intervals down the middle of St Lawrence and hot dogs and marshmallows are provided to guests for roasting free of charge.
The local Lions Club and Legion sponsor free horse drawn carriage rides through the Village throughout the day.
Additional activities included face painting, a petting zoo, carolers, several street vendors providing various confections as well as a variety of fund-raising initiatives for local charities.
This year, we are adding a Tiny Tykes Games Midway on St Lawrence Street which will be facilitated by staff volunteers for RBC who will be handing prizes to participants and conducting a food drive for our local food cupboard. In addition, RBC will be donating $1,500.00 to our local food cupboard on behalf of Christmas in Merrickville.
Our current list of sponsors includes Parkview Homes, Lockwood Brothers, RBC, Smiths Falls Home Hardware, First Stop Rentals in Kemptville, Mainstreet Family Restaurant, The Goose and Gridiron Restaurant, Canada Bread, and Merrickville Food Town.