The holidays are here and in Mesa that means Merry Main Street. Join us this Friday, Nov. 24 as we kick off the festivities with ice skating, live music, shopping and Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Main Street and Macdonald.
Our Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is just outside Mesa City Plaza, 20 E. Main St., and will be open daily through the new year holiday. The 5,000 square feet of real ice brings the winters of the northeast right here to Mesa without the extreme cold. There is just something about skating against a desert sunset and starry sky that makes great memories. Purchase tickets online at merrymainst.com. There will be a special ice show presented by Arizona Ice on Friday at 4 p.m. to celebrate the season grand opening.
The official tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:45 p.m. and will be surrounded by the new Mesa Christmas Market. The European-style market will be open on Fridays and Saturdays and will feature more than 30 vendors selling hand-crafted gifts and food. Find out more about the Mesa Christmas Market at themesachristmasmarket.com. The Christmas tree is nearly four stories tall and helping us flip the switch will be Santa Claus and music from the Mesa City Band.
Santa will be a regular in downtown Mesa during Merry Main Street. Bring your camera for a free photo with the big man. Find out where he will be and when at merrymainst.com. If it’s photos you are after, don’t miss Santa’s sELFie Village. Holiday card cutouts will be stationed near the Christmas tree for you and your friends and family to create instant holiday cards to post and share.
Definitely not least in my book is Jack Frost’s Food Truck Forest at Pioneer Park. Grab dinner or a sweet treat before, or after, heading into the heart of downtown and take a ride on the Main Street Express trackless train. Want more lights? Check out the festive Christmas lights display just across Main Street at the Mesa Arizona Temple.
Speaking of trains, light rail is free from 5 to 10 p.m. on weekends in December in the Merry Main Express free fare zone between Country Club Drive and Mesa Drive. Remember that there is a park and ride at Mesa Drive.
The holidays are a time of giving and spending time with friends and family. I hope all of you have the chance to come downtown and enjoy the lights and sounds of Merry Main Street.
– John Giles is the mayor of Mesa.