The three-day Merry Meridian Christmas celebration will kick off downtown today. The celebration begins with the open house at Love’s Kitchen kitchen at noon today, and leads up to the Christmas Parade and Meridian Symphony Orchestra Holiday Performance at the MSU Riley Center Saturday evening.

Tonight there will be a tree-lighting ceremony at Dumont Plaza, scheduled to start at 5 p.m., followed by a walking nativity pageant with live animals and a community-wide, non-denominational church service.

Tomorrow’s events include a holiday open house, in which downtown businesses provide hors d’oeuvres and other entertainment to shoppers, a champagne tasting at Cartmell Gallery, and Merrehope’s Trees of Christmas Candlelight Tour.

Saturday has the most festivities, with a 5k Jingle Bell Run benefiting the Wesley House, the Merry Meridian Market, in which more than 120 vendors set up holiday gift kiosks, the Toys for Tots Toyathon, “Hoping to Sit with Santa,” where kids sit in Santa’s lap as donations are collected for the Hope Village for Children, the annual Christmas Parade, the Miss Merry Meridian pageant, and a variety of other events.

If any of these many festivities and opportunities to help local charities appeal to you, please visit www.meridiandowntown.com for more details, a schedule, and a full list of events.

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