It was a perfect winter evening at Marshall's Historic Calhoun County Fairgrounds on Tuesday night, as a tree-lighting ceremony kicked off the 2018 Merry Mile.  

The idea started in the fall of 2015 when Dr. Harmony (Johnson) Dawson moved back to her hometown with her husband Brent.  Harmony had a vision of a drive thru Christmas Wonderland that would become a favorite family holiday tradition and took her ideas to the Calhoun County Fair Manager.  The Johnsons even came up with the first  $50,000.00 and the Merry Mile became a reality.

2018 will mark the third season of the Merry Mile. Support, involvement and attendance has grown each year. Individuals and families have donated funds and purchased displays to celebrate the season and honor their loved ones. Companies from all across Calhoun County and beyond have purchased beautiful display pieces for all to enjoy. Service Clubs and area Foundations have stepped up to help grow an enhance this Magical Holiday display.  Harmony Dawson continues her involvement as her vision continues to grow each year. November will find this busy mom and business owner spending every free moment building her dream. She secures donations and funding. Researches and purchases new and exciting lighted displays and then works with her volunteers to maintain, upgrade and build the displays for the wonder and enjoyment of all.

The drive thru Merry Mile officially opens its gates on Friday November 23rd and is open each night, Wednesday through Sunday, until December 30th.  Cost is $10 per carload and $20 per busload.  The lights will also be open for viewing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

Other event include:

  • A Merry Mile Market, a juried craft show, on December 1st from 3pm-9pm.
  • Visits with Santa on December 1st, 15th, and 22nd from 6pm-8pm inside Floral Hall. (gate admission required).
  • A Live Nativity on December 7th and 8th, from 6:30pm-8:30pm, (gate admission required).
Marshall Merry Mile-Santa's SleghTSM Photo

For more information, contact the Calhoun County Fair office at 269-781-8161 or email to

Marshall Merry Mile-TSM Photo