The holiday season officially got underway in the Nicola Valley with the lighting of this year’s Christmas tree at Spirit Square yesterday (Nov. 20).

The ceremony is the first of what will be a week of Country Christmas festivities in Merritt.

Those in attendance gathered around the three to sing Christmas songs, and enjoyed hot chocolate on a cool November night. This year’s tree was donated by  Triple G Logging and decorated with mittens, socks or toques donated by locals.

Residents can check out plenty more holiday events throughout the week.

The 2017 festival of trees held at the Country Music Hall of Fame opened up today (Nov. 21), on Wednesday there will be a Christmas dance recital at the civic centre follow by the Country Christmas community concert on Thursday. Don’t forget to get your spot early along Quilchena Avenue to see this year’s Santa parade on Friday at 7 p.m. and be sure to stop by the civic centre this weekend for a craft fair on Saturday and breakfast with jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself on Sunday.