MERIDEN — The Meriden YuleFest is back this year on Dec. 11 with family favorites and fun surprises getting local families in the holiday spirit.
“I am absolutely ecstatic,” YuleFest organizer Carrie Teele said. “This is my favorite event, my most amazing event.”
Last year, the YuleFest was virtual with vendors and businesses selling products online on Facebook live. This year, the festival is back in person.
Families can expect street performances, holiday music. food trucks like La Birriamania and Want a Waffle and over 40 craft vendors like How Charming and Best Ever Crafts.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by train around 2:45 p.m.
“There’s nothing like a bunch of kids and adults standing in front of the train station when the train comes knowing that Santa is coming,” she said. “Listening to them cheering, is just amazing. It’s going to be great to see, hear and feel that again.”
At 24 Colony St., there will be a “Winter Wonderland,” complete with Christmas trees and holiday decorations making a great place for family photos. New this year will be a horse drawn carriage on the Meriden Green
Before the festival, Meriden residents can participate now in the Yulefest Small Business Scavenger Hunt which includes businesses like Mind, Body, SoulFood and The Gift Box. The Gift Box owner Dorothy DiBenedetto said participating is great for businesses in town.
“It was our first year participating last year,” she said. “People that came in last year just to get their card stamped became regular customers, which is amazing for a small business to get that exposure.”
Until Dec. 10, residents can visit the 12 different businesses to get their passes stamped for a chance to win over $1,300 worth of prizes.
During the YuleFest, the YulePass will include 15 businesses on Colony and West Main streets like Gallery 53 and Downtown Coffee Shop. The goal is for families to visit each business, get their pass stamped and once completed and returned, participants are entered for a chance to win prizes.
“This is just another way for people to get into businesses that are here in Meriden,” Teele said.
The Yulefest takes place Saturday, Dec. 11 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Colony St.