Magic was in the air at Merry on Main this year which saw its largest crowds ever on both Friday and Saturday.
City leaders are delighted with the success of Merry on Main and have already started planning for a bigger and better event next year.
“Thank you to our sponsors, the mayor, the council and the Merry on Main committee for their role in this event,” said City Manager Johnny Huizar. “Thank you to our city staff for putting it together, setting it up and cleaning up after each event. Thank you to the police department for their presence in providing security and crowd control. All the way around it was a team effort. We cannot forget to mention Ernie Gonzales who organized the Blue Santa Baseball Tournament for helping to bring in additional visitors from Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Houston.”
Local hotels throughout the city were booked full and restaurants and retail outlets reported increased sales during the two-day Christmas festival.
Friday night kicked off with the tree lighting ceremony in the park and the lighting of the River Park Wonderland which features more than 100 creatively decorated trees from businesses, clubs, non-profit, schools, churches and individuals. The Pleasanton City Council, City Manager Huizar, David Alviso, city leaders and Merry on Main title sponsor Jacob Henson of Henson Theaters/ Plestex, Santa and the crowd counted down and the 30-foot Christmas tree and the River Park Wonderland magically lit. The city Christmas Tree and River Park Wonderland will remain lit through the holiday season. The River Park Wonderland tree trail is up for everyone’s enjoyment until January 2 with so many opportunities for great Christmas photos and to make many lasting holiday memories. The City of Pleasanton has made sure that the River Park Wonderland pathway is wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly, so everyone has a chance to see the trees up close. The city has also made extra handicapped parking available at the park through December.
The Merry on Main Talent show was a sheer delight pulling in a huge audience and a vast array of amazing talents. The winners from each category 5-10, 11-17 and 18 plus received cash prizes $300 for 1st, $200 for 2nd and $100 for 3rd. The first-place winners had the opportunity to perform on the Main Stage on Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 4. Fabian Castro the winner in the adult category appeared with David Lee Garza Y Los Musicales on Saturday night.
The winners of the talent show were:
1st Nicole Rodriguez
2nd Amiyah Nevarez
3rd The Merry Band of Pirates
1st – Kiera & Hixon
2nd – Lorenzo Samaniego
3rd – Krista Gutierrez
1st – Fabian Castro
2nd – Belle Martel
3rd – Teliyah Wynder
This year for the first time, the City of Pleasanton and the Merry on Main Committee ensured that the festivities were accessible to children with special needs by partnering with the Atascosa McMullen Co-op and Peace for the Pieces Social Group to provide JOY Passes to families with special needs children. These passes allowed special needs children to enjoy the event by helping them advance in line to accommodate their needs.
This message from a mom was heartwarming to Merry on Main organizers.
“Thank you so much for offering the JOY pass. Lines are always so hard for our autistic son. We aren’t always able to take part in activities because the lines are too long. Tonight, thanks to the Joy pass, we got to participate in everything, and he had so much fun! We can’t thank the people of Merry on Main enough for making that happen!”
On Saturday, the event began at 10 a.m. with the Little Miss Merry on Main pageant open to little girls aged 7-10 from Atascosa County. There were 15 brave, smart and talented contestants. The judges stated that they were so impressed with each girl and that it was very hard to just pick three winners. Little Miss Merry on Main is Elizabeth Tate, 1st runner up, Penelope Hernandez and 2nd runner up, Hayden Garcia. The winners were featured in the Merry on Main Parade.
More than 100 food and retail vendors participated in the two-day event. There was so much free fun for everyone—live music, live Christmas Nativity, carolers, Ballet Folklorico, Ms. Tera’s Tap ‘N Toes dancers, Kid Zone, face painting, petting zoo, ice slides, trackless train, photos with Santa and the Grinch, games, photo booth, and so much more. On Saturday, the crowds increasingly grew throughout the day watching the myriad entertainment on two stages, playing at the Kid Zone, attending the Christmas Story live production at the Plestex, riding the Christmas train and just having fun with friends old and new. By nightfall, the Christmas Lighted Parade sponsored by Ford of Pleasanton, which was massive with more than 100 participants, drew several thousand more to Main Street as did the firework extravaganza show sponsored by Henson Theaters/Plestex. By the time David Lee Garza Y Los Musicales took the stage at 8 p.m. for the Merrier on Main Street dance, historic Main Street was filled with approximately 5,000 people.
It was a fun, festive and fantastical family friendly night for all with much dancing and merriment in the street. Pleasanton Police Chief Ronald Sanchez stated that there were no incidents to report so everyone stayed on Santa’s “nice” list this year.
This event would not have been possible without the generosity of so many sponsors. The title sponsor of Merry on Main this year was Henson Theaters/Plestex who also was a Gold Sponsor. Jacob Henson has served on the Merry on Main Committee for three years as well. The Merry on Main Committee is so grateful for his generosity of money, time and talent plus sponsoring the Fireworks and donating the theater for the Christmas Story – Reason for the Season live production.
The City of Pleasanton and Merry on Main Committee would like to thank our generous sponsors who include Title and Gold sponsor Henson Theatres/Plestex. Thank you for helping to make this two-day Christmas Festival fun and free for the community.
Gold Sponsors: Community First Health Plans, AEP, Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc., Methodist Hospital | Atascosa, DOCUmation, Ford of Pleasanton, Linebarger Attorneys at Law, Henson Theatres – Plestex, TNC Systems, EMC Strategy Group, LLC, Pleasanton Express, The Office and H-E-B.
Silver Sponsors: JW Hughes Excavation, Inc., Karnes Electric Cooperative, Inc., Apricus Enterprises, Eagle Lube, The Olive Branch, Hurley Funeral Home, Wells Construction, Paisley’s, Country Girl Designs, Price Chevrolet, Maldonado Law Group, Wilco Peanut Co. and Woman’s Club of Pleasanton.
Red Sponsors: Burditt, Center Point Energy, Republic Services, Gaydos Construction, Schneider Electric. Cintas and JM Connected.
Green Sponsors: Fernando Gonzalez, Rental Services of Texas and Equipment Share.