Mesa is getting the Christmas season underway later this week as its sponsors its fifth annual Merry Main Street starting Friday through Jan. 4.
It will kick off with an ice show at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, 20 E. Main St. with music at 5 p.m. by the Mesa City Band at the Mesa Christmas Tree, Main Street and Macdonald. That will be followed at 5:45 p.m. by a tree lighting ceremony and the arrival of Santa Claus, followed by an evening of music, food and fun downtown until 10 p.m.
Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, a 5,000-square-foot rink, will be open daily for for skating and tickets can be purchased at the gate. Free visits with Santa are Fridays and Saturdays and times and locations are at merrymainst.com.
Merry Main Street also includes the Mesa Christmas Market, a European style market on the north side of Main Street at Macdonald featuring traditional and nontraditional foods, hand-crafted items and live performances Fridays 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays 3-9 p.m. through Dec. 21.
Santa’s sELFie Village offers a chance to make a special holiday card photo at the holiday tree or one of the other Santa sELFie stations along Main Street while Jack Frost’s Food Truck Fores will be stationed at Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main St. 6-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
A special Light Rail car for songs, cookies and Santa will run 6-10 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and 13-14.
Meanwhile, the East Valley Children’s Theatre will present the holiday favorite “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” Dec. 5-15 at 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays at Mesa Arts Center’s Nesbitt Elliott Playhouse. Tickets are $15.
Written by EVCT’s artistic director Karen Rolston, with music and lyrics by local composer Kathie McMahon, two compelling stories come together in a play inspired by the famous editorial by Francis P. Church. On Christmas Eve 1897 in New York City, 8-year-old Virginia is left pondering whether or not Santa really exists as a young newspaper editor also struggles against tough holiday times as he is faced with losing his job if he can’t find his writer’s voice by morning. The spirit of Christmas brings them together.
The cast features 32 young people ages 8-18, including Mesa thespians Aidan Perkins as Frances, Moranda Smith as Virginia and Jay Barber as Mr. Mitchell.