The main concourse featuring the commanding Christmas tree that acts as a centerstage of the festival. (Photo courtesy of The City of Mesa)

Winter festival brings holiday cheer to downtown Mesa

For the 8th year in a row, “Merry Main St.”, will transform Mesa’s downtown into a winter festival from Nov. 25 until Jan. 7, offering daily holiday themed events and activities for all ages. 

Opening night of the festival will feature the lighting of a four story Christmas tree on Main Street and Macdonald Street. 

There will also be music by the Mesa City Band, along with the event’s first arrival of Santa, who remains there every Friday and Saturday for free photo opportunities.

Mesa will also have a 12 foot Menorah to celebrate Hanukkah, with a special event on Dec. 18 to light the first of nine candles.

The Mesa Arts Center will join in on the opening night festivities with a radio style performance entitled, “The Man Who Killed Santa Claus,” hosted by Mesa mayor John Giles.  

“No other town can tell this story, because it’s a Mesa story,” said Giles.

The yearly, “Winter Wonderland Ice Rink,” will return, this time to a newly expanded 6,000 square foot rink open daily that charges $10 admission for an hour of skating, including equipment rental.

The city encourages attendees to buy tickets ahead of time on their website to avoid anticipated long wait times.

Food trucks will be set up at nearby Pioneer Park as part of, “Jack Frost’s Food Truck Forest,” on every Friday and Saturday of the event from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The festival will also host an array of local makers and artists to sell their creations during its first two days. 

After a four year hiatus, the downtown adjacent Mesa Temple of Latter-Day Saints will feature their nightly, “Christmas lights,” event which has hundreds of thousands of LED’s that adorn the grounds of the temple. 

The temple more than doubled their footprint of the LEDs that make up the event, according to assistant director of the lighting event Stacey Farr.

Festival goers can take advantage of free light rail rides on Friday’s and Saturday’s between Country Club Road and Gilbert Road, however only during operating hours of the event.

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