Merry & Bright Weekend hosts a number of festive events to put you in the holiday mood! From holiday stories to magically lit wonderland strolls, beautifully decorated windows, holiday shopping and last-minute wish lists we’ve got you covered. Celebrate the holiday season here in Michigan’s Great Southwest!



Light up the Bluff will transform Lake Bluff Park into a winter wonderland. At 6:00p, the St. Joseph High School Choir begins with Christmas carols followed by the tree lighting at 6:30p. The one million lights will remain on through Valentine’s Day in Michigan’s Most Romantic City. This display is sponsored by the St. Joseph Improvement Association in partnership with the City of St. Joseph. For more information, call (269) 983 5541.

Immediately following Light up the Bluff, Window Wonderland invites attendees to stroll downtown to get into the holiday spirits as they take in the holiday window decorating contest. Downtown storefronts will participate from 7:00p-8:30p. Vote for your favorite window at! Voting will be open starting at 7:00p on Friday, December 2 until 11:59p on Sunday, December 4. 

INSIDER TIP: St. Joe Today + Southwest Michigan businesses and restaurants
host a 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 a St. Joe Today (SJT) member business.
Qualifying purchases must be made between November 18 and
December 18. Receipts for purchases must be presented to an SJT staff
member at the Welcome Center by December 18. 

Lazy Ballerina Winery hosts an Artisan Pop-Up from 7:00p-8:30p. Shoppers will enjoy delectable wines as they browse handcrafted items from local artisans Eclectic Pearl Crafting and Kimy Battista.

Enjoy Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, the latest production from Twin City Players! Catch this holiday show Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30p and Sundays at 2:00p, December 2-18.

Grab a pint of tasty craft brew a delicious snack and wrap up the night with live music over at The Livery featuring Pajamas at 8:00p. 



The Fanny Mae Memorial Reindog Parade returns to downtown St. Joseph at 3:00p! 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! Day of registration is available from 12:00p-2:45p at the Welcome Center (301 State Street). Sponsored by Maytag, Ed Todd and FuzzyButz.

INSIDER TIP: Saturday also marks the arrival of Santa in downtown
St. Joseph. After the parade, children can share their wish lists
with Santa at Santa’s House from 4:30p-7:00p.

Animal Aid of SWMI hosts their annual Christmas Holiday Open House from 12:00p-3:00p at the Maud Preston Palenske Memorial Library, right before the Reindog Parade! Attendees will find gift items and stocking stuffers for sale, a silent auction, a memory tree, a bake sale and adoptable pets.

Celebrate the holiday season with the Morton House Museum during their Holiday Open House from 11:00a-4:00p! Guests can tour the decorated Morton House, including the Benton Harbor Ship Canal, and will enjoy an illustrated talk on the history of the canal at 1:00p with Chuck Jager.

‘Tis the season for Christmas Minature Train Rides at Eden Springs Park! Enjoy rides from 4:00p-8:00p December 3,4, 10, 11, 17, 18. Tickets are $4 (cash only), ages 3 and under ride free.

LIGHTS has returned to Fernwood Botanical Garden this holiday season through January 1. Thursday-Sunday, you can walk the illuminated Fernwood grounds for festive light displays, holiday craft stations, warm yourself by the three fire pits, light sculptures and more. Reservations are strongly suggested!



St. Joe Today hosts the first annual Holiday Artisan Fair from 12:00p-4:00p on Sunday, December 4! This event will be held indoors at Union + Social and host a variety of local artisans. $5/person.

Santa’s House is moved from the North Pole each year to the corner of State & Pleasant Streets in downtown St. Joe! Santa will be available for wish list conversations and holiday photo ops weekends in December. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture this magical visit! Sponsored by The Herald-Palladium. Visit for a complete schedule. 

INSIDER TIP: Don’t miss out on Letters to Santa and Storytime with
Mrs. Claus, all part of the Santa Series this December!


Head to The GhostLight for their latest production, Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish, which kicks off this Saturday, November 26! Eleanor is the story of a rag doll who lives at The North Pole and has one wish for a best friend and home of her own. With help from Santa’s elves, Eleanor realizes that wishing is not enough and that you must take action to make your dreams come true.

Plank’s hosts a Brunch with Santa from 9:00a-3:00p! Bring your wish lists and get ready to enjoy an a la carte menu. Reservations recommended!

Join Sister Lakes Brewing Co. for their An Evening with Dickens: A Christmas Carol from 5:30p-8:00p! This annual event hosts a dramatic reading/storytelling of a Dickins classic performed by Greg Weiss. Tickets are $15/adult; $8/children (13 and under) and include the performance plus British-style light refreshments.



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