White River High School’s DECA program is in the midst of learning how to gather the community together for the holidays.
The student project is the Merry on Main event, which started last year as a way to liven up Buckley’s Main Street during the winter season. This is the first year the DECA students are taking on the project.
“It allows us to step out of our comfort zone, and become leaders and work on communication, marketing skills, everything like that,” said WRHS DECA President Kennedy Wagner.
The whole Merry on Main project began when the White River Families First Coalition pushed into White River middle and high schools to ask students what was lacking in their community, and what they could do about it; one student said they wish Main Street was utilized more during the holidays, since Buckley historically has just had a tree lighting event, and not much else in terms of celebration.
It was first organized by Sandra Smith, who turned the reins over to Wagner and other students for the 2019 event.
“Our goal this year, as a team of officers, was to get more involved in the community,” said Kaley O’Day, another DECA student. “Initially, we weren’t really sure how we were going to do that — it almost perfectly fell into our lap with Merry on Main. It allowed us to contact and get more involved with local businesses, which our goal really was this year.”
Under the DECA club’s instruction, there will be a free cocoa bar and carolers at Anchor House Coffee every Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m. starting right after the city’s tree lighting on Nov. 30. The event ends Dec. 22 with a Mid-Day Men’s Chorus Performance on Main Street at Anchor House at 6 p.m., followed by a live music jam session on Main Street from 7 to 8 p.m.
The DECA club has also secured a 26-foot lighted holiday tree that will be put up at Buckley’s Veterans Memorial Park, and is organizing other student clubs’ involvements.
The eventual goal, said Caleb Starr, is to put help make Buckley more of a destination, rather than a drive-through.
“As it stands currently, Buckley isn’t a very well-known city, compared to Bonney Lake or Puyallup,” Starr said. “I feel like having our own little town event that people like flocking to and seeing will not only put us on the map, but also increase business downtown.”
Starr added that business owners are already excited to participate, despite how young the event is.
The DECA club is inviting people to help decorate Main Street by attending a decorating party, slotted for Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to noon, starting at the Buckley council chambers building at 811 E. Main St., Buckley.
For more information about Merry on Main, head to https://www.facebook.com/BuckleyMerryOnMain/.