The weekend of Dec. 3-4 officially marks the beginning of the holiday season in Bexley.

The weekend of Dec. 3-4 officially marks the beginning of the holiday season in Bexley.

Bexley's "Kickoff to the Holidays" will take place Saturday, Dec. 3.

A tradition for Bexley retailers, the event will include extended hours for many stores.

Shops will have goodies and treats to share and there will be live entertainment.

The Bexley High School choir will stroll down Drexel Avenue and Main Street singing Christmas carols from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Stores participating in the kick-off include: The Avant Garden, Art Access Gallery, Gregg Frame Studio, Cherbourg Bakery, ETC., Star Jewelers and the Hammond Harkins Gallery.

The Bexley Celebrations Association and Bexley Recreation Department will hold their annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4, at Drexel Circle.

"We have spoken to Santa and he will be able to make it," said recreation department spokesperson Barb Greiner. "We have been doing this for more years than I can remember."

Greiner said the brief ceremony will feature an appearance by Santa Claus and hot chocolate and cookies, courtesy of the Bexley Celebrations Association.

"It is usually a weather-driven event," she said. "But we will be there, rain, snow or sunshine - and we have been there for all of that in the past."

The Bexley High School Vocal Ensemble will perform beginning about 4 p.m. in anticipation of the tree-lighting and the arrival of Santa at 4:30.

After Santa arrives he will stay and talk with any child who wishes to visit with him, Greiner said.

The event is free and open to the public.