St. Joe Ready to Deliver Holiday Fun on Merry & Bright Weekend

As more and more homes across the region place Christmas trees in the window or string lights from their eves, shrubs, and porches, the holiday spirit is emerging onto the scene. If you’re still having a tough time getting into the swing of things though and need a super dose of holiday cheer, make plans to hit downtown St. Joseph this weekend for St. Joseph Today’s Merry & Bright Weekend filled with activities for the entire family.

In fact, you’ll find four family-favorite events bursting onto the scene beginning this Friday, December 6th and spilling into the weekend in the city’s central business district and along the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

The annual Light Up the Bluff event this Friday, December 6th will transform Lake Bluff Park when Mayor Mike Garey flips the switch at 6:30 pm and a million lights twinkle on the community tree and holiday-themed displays. The lights will then remain on through Valentine’s Day in Michigan’s Most Romantic City. The display is sponsored each year by the St. Joseph Improvement Association. If you arrive at 6:00 pm you can also enjoy carolers from the St. Joseph High School Choir performing at the base of the giant tree in Lake Bluff Park.

Following the tree lighting, visitors can stroll downtown and enjoy Window Wonderland sponsored by Edgewater Bank and the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council. Dozens of storefronts will participate in the holiday window decorating event from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Those in search of the perfect gift will appreciate unique selections, special prices and a festive shopping atmosphere that evening and throughout December.

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For those who love weekends in downtown St. Joseph, plan to join the crowd on Friday, March 13th, 2020 for March Mannequins, as you watch storefronts come alive with dozens of community volunteers posing perfectly still, like mannequins, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. For more information, visit

As you arrive downtown this weekend and throughout the month you will also notice the addition of holiday music playing throughout downtown St. Joseph starting this Friday, December 6th and running until Christmas Day, December 25th. Amy Zapal, Executive Director of St. Joseph Today says, “St. Joseph Today is hopeful that the music will add to the charm of downtown and entice holiday shoppers looking for those one-of-a-kind gifts. It’s our own winter wonderland.” She offers up special thanks to Edward J. Todd for helping to bring that festive project to the downtown.

On Saturday, December 7th, the 21st Annual Reindog Holiday Parade, sponsored by FuzzyButz, kicks off at 4:00 pm. Pets and pet owners dress up in holiday costumes to entertain visitors along State Street. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade must register. You can get registration forms at FuzzyButz on State Street or at St. Joseph Today’s downtown office or online at Day of registration will take place at the Welcome Center, located at 301 State Street, from 2:00 pm until 3:45 pm. A portion of the proceeds from the registration fees will be donated to Animal Aid of Southwestern Michigan.

Keeping with the Reindog pet theme, local charity Animal Aid of Southwestern Michigan will hold its annual open house at the St. Joseph Public Library on Saturday December 7th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, where visitors can buy treats from the bake sale, learn about pet adoption opportunities, make year-end donations and more.

After the parade, children can share their wish lists with Santa at Santa’s House, sponsored by The Herald-Palladium, until 7:00 pm. Santa will be at the house, located at State and Pleasant Streets, until December 23rd. House hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, Saturdays from noon to 5:00 pm, and Sundays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Special hours will also be offered December 23rd from noon to 5:00 pm for those last minute requests. Photography is not provided, and you are encouraged to bring your own camera.

Edward J. Todd is devoted to supporting the education of our local youth as well as supporting the growth of local businesses through community events. St. Joseph Today and the whole community benefit from the generous support for the fine arts.

For more information on the Merry & Bright weekend visit online at this link:

St. Joseph Today is a membership-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and promoting events and businesses in St. Joseph and its surrounding communities. For more information about these and other December activities, contact St. Joseph Today at 269-985-1111 or visit or

The aerial photo showing Light Up the Bluff from high over St. Joe accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of Great Lakes Drone Company of Watervliet.