Holiday events rolling into Merced

Thanksgiving is still a couple of days away, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Merced’s Bob Hart Square.

The community Christmas tree is up and decorated in the square, which is located where Main and Canal streets meet. Other holiday festivities are planned for later next month.

The official lighting of the tree, sponsored by MERCO Credit Union, is planned immediately after the downtown Christmas parade, which is hosted by the Active 20-30 Club of Merced at 3 p.m. Dec. 7.

Applications to enter floats in the parade, themed “Christmas on the Silver Screen,” are due Friday.

Festivities on the day of the parade start at 11 a.m. and include a 2-mile Jingle Bell Run that will benefit Toys for Tots; craft and food vendors stationed on Canal Street; and local performers in front of Bob Hart Square at every hour.

There will be complimentary hot chocolate and cookies from the Merced Breakfast Lions Club, according to organizers.

More performances and singing follow the tree ceremony.

The event is sponsored by Education Employees Credit Union, Scholle Packaging and the city of Merced.

Downtown shoppers can expect to hear carolers from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 14 and 21, according to Karen Baker, a development associate for Merced’s Office of Economic Development. The singers will start in Bob Hart Square and make their way around Main Street.

Float applications for the parade are available on the Active 20-30 Club website,, or on the city’s website,

For more information, contact the Active 20-30 Club at (209) 658-5617, or email