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Merry & Bright Weekend in St. Joseph

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Celebrate the winter season in Michigan’s Great Southwest!

Merry & Bright Weekend invites the Southwest Michigan community to enjoy four festive events: Light up the Bluff, Reindog Parade, Santa’s House and the Holiday Artisan Fair.

Light up the Bluff kicks off Merry & Bright Weekend on Friday, December 1. At 6:00p, the St. Joseph High School Choir begins with Christmas carols followed by the tree lighting at 6:30p. The one million holiday lights will transform Lake Bluff Park into a winter wonderland and will be viewable daily between 5:30a-8:30a and 5:30p-midnight through February 15. This display is presented by the City of St. Joseph. For more information, call (269) 983 5541.

On Saturday, December 2 the annual Reindog Parade returns to downtown St. Joseph at 3:00p. Sponsored by Edward J. Todd and FuzzyButz, this event features dressed-up pets and their owners in a variety of holiday garb. Be prepared to see all kinds of costumes from “Santa Bernards” to “Reindeer Rottweilers” – definitely a must-see event! Parade participants may get registration forms at FuzzyButz or the Welcome Center, both located in downtown St. Joseph, or register at Cost: $5 per dog; each additional pet is $3. A portion of the net proceeds will be donated to a local animal rescue organization.

After the parade, children can share their wish lists with Santa until 7:00p. Santa’s House, part of the Santa Series sponsored by The Herald-Palladium, is moved from the North Pole each year to the corner of State & Pleasant Streets in downtown St. Joseph. Santa will be available for wish list conversations and holiday photo ops every weekend in December until Christmas. Hours are Thursdays and Fridays 4:00p-6:00p, Saturdays 12:00p-5:00p and Sundays 1:00p-5:00p. Don’t forget to bring a
camera to capture this magical visit!

Additional Santa Series fun can be had with Letters to Santa and Storytime with Mrs. Claus. Attendees can grab a postcard from the Welcome Center to write a letter to Santa, hand it to the big man in red himself or use the drop box at Santa’s House! Mrs. Claus has offered to read some of her favorite holiday books during Storytime with Mrs. Claus. St. Joe Today will be releasing weekly videos at - on December 5, 12 and 19.

On Sunday, St. Joe Today wraps up the Merry & Bright Weekend with an indoor Holiday Artisan Fair featuring local artisans. This event will be held from 11:00a-4:00p on Sunday, December 3 at Union + Social in downtown St. Joseph, behind Silver Harbor Brewing. Visit for more information.

To make the most of the giving season, SJT is excited to host Countdown to New Year, a daily giveaway event throughout the month of December! Shoppers earn one entry per $25 purchase (one time or cumulative) at an SJT member business. Qualifying purchases must be made between November 17 and December 17 - earn double points for shopping on Luminary (November 17), Window Wonderland (November 17), Small Business Saturday (November 25) and the Reindog Parade (December 2).

Additional qualifying purchases include SJT Gift Certificates and St. Joe Winter Beer Fest tickets (on sale at 10:00a December 1). Receipts for purchases must be presented to an SJT staff member at the Welcome Center by December 17. Participants will be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a local SWMI business. Visit for more information.

Additionally, shoppers and diners alike will enjoy a magical experience this winter season while downtown. Beautiful winter lights and festive holiday music throughout downtown St. Joseph will enhance the holiday atmosphere. The lights will remain up through February in conjunction with Light up the Bluff (December 1 through February 15).

For more information on the Merry & Bright Weekend visit

Catch these additional upcoming St. Joe Today winter events:

  • Countdown to New Year: November 17-December 17
  • Small Business Saturday: November 25 (All Day)
  • Merry & Bright Weekend: December 1-3 (All Weekend)
  • Reindog Holiday Parade: December 2 (3:00p)
  • Santa Series: December 2-23 (Select Dates/Times)
  • Holiday Artisan Fair: December 3

St. Joe Today is a 501(c)(3) membership-based organization dedicated to developing and promoting events and businesses in St. Joseph, Michigan and its surrounding communities. For more information about upcoming events and details call St. Joe Today at (269) 985 1111 or visit

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