Thanksgiving may be a little more than a week away, but the holiday season will begin in Paris on Sunday, Nov. 19 with two special events — the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary’s Thanksgiving Dinner followed by the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Christmas Open House.

Then, on Saturday Nov. 25, the PACC will host the Trail of Holiday Lights Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Parade. Shop Small Saturday will also be taking place that day. On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Logan County Museum in Paris will holds its annual Holiday Tour of Homes fundraiser. On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Merchant’s Association will hold its Dinner on the Square fund raiser.

The Mercy Hospital Auxiliary Thanksgiving Dinner will take place from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19 at St. Joseph Catholic School Cafeteria. The menu is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Carry out meals are available. Typically, the meal draws between 500 and 600.

Afterward, you can walk off all those extra calories at the PACC’s Annual Christmas Open House. Numerous merchants will be participating and Santa Claus will also be on hand inside the Santa Shack on the north side of the Logan County Courthouse. He will give away keepsake ornaments to the first 70 children who visit. Meanwhile, a special Farmers Market event will take place on Courthouse Square with over 40 vendors participating.

“Most merchants will be offering special sale items and refreshments,” said PACC Executive Director Tonya Baumgartner. “With the Thanksgiving dinner and a craft market going on, I expect a big crowd. Last year, there were about 1,500 people shopping.”

Shop Small Saturday, Nov. 25, is a nationwide promotion designed to encourage shopping small business, Baumgartner said. Participating merchants will be giving away canvas shopping bags and offering sales and specials, she said. That will be followed by the lighting ceremony and parade. The theme for this year’s Christmas Parade is Christmas: Past, Present and Future. There’ll be entertainment before the parade beginning at 5 p.m. This year’s Grand Marshals are the coaches and players of the Paris High School volleyball team, which won its third consecutive state championship last month.

The Merchants Association’s Dinner on the Square event, Saturday, Dec. 9, will feature a three course meal outside around the Logan County Courthouse. Tickets are $50 and the proceeds benefit downtown revitalization. There’ll be a silent auction and horse and buggy rides will be available. Contact the PACC at 963-2244 for ticket purchasing information.

The chamber and the Merchants Association are also providing free horse and buggy rides around Courthouse Square on Saturdays Dec. 2, 8, 16 and 30 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.