The City of Pleasanton turned the town into a magical Christmas festival with free events for the whole family during the two-day Merry on Main held Dec. 4 at the Pleasanton River Park and Dec. 5 on downtown Main Street. Snow fell over the historic Main Street arches as kids of all ages twirled around in wonder. Reindeer feasted on grass, carolers sang in the streets, holiday dancers and entertainers filled the Main stage with their talents, Santa, the Grinch, Olaf and Christmas Minions visited with the thousands that came out rain and shine. The two-day event ended with a 10-minute Pale Rider Memorial Firework Show that was world class and then the finale was an hourlong 100-plus-participant lighted Christmas Parade sponsored by DOCUmation.
“Merry on Main 2020 will go down as one of the most successful events this year or any year,” said Mayor Travis Hall. “There were more people than I had expected at this past weekend’s event and the majority of them were fol- lowing COVID guidelines. I thank them for wearing masks and staying within their family group while distancing from others. Thanks also to the Merry on Main committee, Parks & Rec Department and all the city employees as well as all the sponsors, contributors and volunteers who worked to take this year’s event ‘over the top.’ We will start planning for the 2021 Merry on Main next month. I have already been told of some of the changes that will be proposed for next year’s event … and I like them. If you haven’t already, be sure and stop by the River Park and take a look at the Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree Trail and the 100 trees displayed. Thanks to all the sponsors, our city employees and volunteers for giving our city something magical for everyone, especially the children.”
Memories are not the only thing left of the Merry on Main. The River Park Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree Trail filled with 100 creatively decorated trees by local businesses and organizations will be up through December. The best way to view this display is at night and by taking a walk through with friends and family. But, for those that cannot do the walk, you can get the full effect by driving by at night. Plan an evening in the park. Bundle up with coats and blankets and have a winter picnic under the small and group pavilions! There is 24-hour security and the park is not only lit up from the Christmas lights, but by hundreds of new streetlamps that make it safe and secure. Make this a new Christmas tradition.
“We had an absolutely awesome weekend,” said Greg Leach, Director, City of Pleasanton Parks & Recreation. “With everything that’s going on in the world, to have our community come out and enjoy the weekend in a safe and COVID-responsible way, it was really special. Our mission has always been to bring our community closer together and to keep that small-town character, and I can’t thank the people of Pleasanton enough for being invested in that idea.”
The Merry on Main Committee has been working together for three years. The group meets monthly for an entire year in person and works on the regular throughout the year planning and organizing. They met weekly for the last two months and have formed a tight bond and working relationship. The group includes Greg Leach, Tabitha Garza, Tony Aguirre, Jessica Tom, Britni Van Curan, Larry Mross, Terri Cuevas, Cindy Mumm, Patsy Troell, Nigel Kelly, Jacob Henson, Diana Prasifka, Judge Bob Hurley and Noel Wilkerson Holmes.
“Merry on Main would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the Merry on Main Committee,” said Tabitha Garza, Chair of Merry on Main Committee. “It is an honor to serve alongside each of the committee members all year. These individuals are the thinkers and the doers behind the scenes, and everyone brings something special to the table. I am thankful to be a part of this group and look forward to the bright future of Merry on Main for years to come.”
Merry on Main takes loads of volunteering to make it happen. Besides the time and talents dedicated by the committee, the event recruits volunteers to work the two-day event. “It was great to have so many volunteers manning the event,” said Jessica Tom, Committee Volunteer Coordinator. “We had students and adults. They helped make this event a huge success. Shout out, too, to the committee that focuses on bringing our community together!”
This year’s Merry on Main had more vendors than ever before both for Friday night and Saturday. “Our 50 vendors made this event a wonderful success,” said Britni Van Curan, Merry on Main Vendor Coordinator and Pleasanton Mayor Pro-Tem. “From food trucks to jewelry, apparel and accessories and fundraisers, we had something for everyone. I consider myself privileged to work with the vendors each year and continually seek to find ways to make Merry on Main bigger and better!”
Merry on Main would not be possible without the sponsors who were truly generous this year. There were four levels of sponsorship: Gold $1,500 plus, Silver $1,000-$1,499, Red $500-$999 and Green up to $499. The sponsors were:
Gold Level: City of Pleasanton, Pale Rider Memorial Firework, Salt River Services, Country Girl Designs and DOCUmation
Silver Level: Paisley’s, Wilco Peanut Co., Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce and Pleasanton Express
Red Level: Linebarger Attorneys at Law, Republic Services, Wells Construction, Brush Country Dental Center, Café Chris, The Texas Tone Rangers, Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds & Water Parks, Ranger Cinco, LLC and Temper Services
Green Level: Woman’s Club of Pleasanton, ACT Theatre Group, Pleasant Perk Coffee House, Lillian Cashmer Insurance Agency, Lesley’s Flowers & Gifts, Chili’s, Memories on Main St., JM Connected Auto Sales and Urban Bricks