Neighbors banding together to help each other has a long legacy in America. It’s a cherished tradition, and that spirit comes alive at Merriment in Melrose, celebrating its fifth year, from 4 to 8 p.m., Dec. 14.

Vendors will sell pottery, mugs, jewelry, clothes and household items and handmade crafts at Merriment in Melrose Dec. 14. The event is presented every year to benefit the music programs in the Osborn School District (photo by Amy Swietlik).

The event benefits Osborn School District music programs – raising over $3,000 last year.

Vendors set up tents in the bus stop that loops between Heatherbrae Drive and Glenrosa Avenue along Seventh Avenue, offering everything from jewelry, clothes and household items to handcrafts and foods made by refugee families from the International Rescue Committee.

“All of our vendors are local artisans,” said Pam Pawlowski, president of the Melrose Community Alliance, one of the Merriment sponsor organizations. Pawlowski, along with Solano Elementary School music teacher Amy Swietlik, has worked on Merriment in Melrose since its inception in 2014.

“This year we have 50 vendors – 10 more than last year,” Swietlik said. “We’re excited to have many back this year, along with new ones including Happy Kitty Ceramics, with some adorable cat mugs and pottery.”

If all that shopping makes you hungry, there will be plenty to choose from, including pastries and other goodies from Rodain’s Syrian Kitchen and Alzoubani Bakery. Food trucks will offer Salvadoran items, Cajun food and Chinese food, among other delicacies.

There’s also entertainment to help you work up an appetite. On one stage, Osborn School District musicians will entertain.

“It’s family friendly, and we’ll have an open mike so kids can come up and play or sing,” Swietlik said. “We’re also having some really amazing bands on the other stage, including the Senators, a great local folk band, Foxadillo jazz and Rhythm is Life steel pans.”

Glenrosa Avenue, Heatherbrae Drive, and MacKenzie Drive will be closed to traffic during the event. Parking is available in the neighborhoods adjacent to the event. Please be respectful of neighbors and businesses in the area.

For hours and other information, including how to volunteer or donate, visit


  • Marjorie Rice

    Marjorie Rice is an award-winning journalist, newspaper food editor, travel editor and cookbook editor with more than three decades' experience writing about the culinary industry.

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