The Community Christmas Dinner took place on Wednesday, December 14 at the Merritt Civic Centre. This marks the return of the annual community event after the fires, floods, and the COVID 19 pandemic. 

The Herald had the chance to speak with Charlton Martin, organizer of the dinner. 

“It stopped for a while because of COVID-19, fires, and floods,” he explained. 

“A few friends of mine reached out to me and asked if I was going to do this again so I did.”

Martin is no stranger to the event, having been involved with it for more than a decade.

The Merritt Community Band played music at the function and Santa Claus was also present to pose for pictures with the young and old alike.

The Merritt RCMP, Lower Nicola Fire Department, Merritt Fire and Rescue Department were seen serving up a healthy heaping of turkey, and sides, all courtesy of businesses like Mr. Mikes, Denny’s, Walmart, Kekuli Cafe, and Boston Pizza. 

Martin estimates that the dinner served was good for about 650 people. 

“It was unbelievable and I was super proud of what people did,” he exclaimed. 

“The dinner for me was, people being reminded of our community’s history of helping our neighbours. This town has a history of rallying around  when things happen.” 

With the success of the dinner, Martin hopes to continue the community functions for future holidays.

“This is what I hope for the future dinners on Easter and Thanksgiving,” he noted “I want this community to continue onward.”