Lights will shine on the city of Gahanna in more ways than one beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Creekside.
The annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Wonderland kickoff will feature more than 100,000 energy-efficient LEDs donated by AEP Ohio and hosted by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau.
An additional spotlight will shine on the city -- figuratively speaking -- during a special presentation in honor of Gahanna being chosen as one of Ohio's "Best Hometowns" for 2013-14 by Ohio Magazine.
In honor of the recognition, Lute Harmon Jr., president and publisher of Ohio Magazine, will present a "Best Hometown" award to Mayor Becky Stinchcomb and City Council on behalf of the city.
The lighting ceremony and presentation will be at the Rotary Stage at Creekside.
As a result of being named a best hometown, Gahanna is featured in this month's issue of Ohio Magazine.
Jim Vickers, magazine editor, told ThisWeek the process of selecting a best hometown, including the number of communities considered, is confidential.
The other four "Best Hometowns" are Aurora, Vermilion, Logan and Loveland. Vickers said Grove City won the honor for the central Ohio region last year.
"We are very proud to be selected as the 2013-2014 Best Hometown by Ohio Magazine," Stinchcomb said. "This award just reaffirms our belief that Gahanna is a wonderful destination for tourists and an exceptional community for residents and businesses alike."
The criteria considered for the honor included community spirit, education, entertainment, health and safety, business environment, culture and heritage.
"We are honored to be among those selected for this year's Best Hometown award," said Laurie Jadwin, GCVB executive director. "The CVB strives to promote Gahanna year round as a visitor destination. Being recognized as one of the best hometowns in Ohio by Ohio Magazine is affirmation that the word is out. Everyone in the state will now know what we've always known: Gahanna is a visionary, unique, strong and progressive community and is a vibrant visitor destination."
In honor of receiving the award, the city will unveil its "2013-2014 Best Hometown" signs at the tree-lighting ceremony. The signs will be displayed throughout the community.
Additionally, the city and the GCVB will kick off its "Best Hometown" photo contest in December.
Gahanna residents will have an opportunity to submit their best photo of Gahanna for a chance to have their winning picture displayed in the City Hall art gallery. Details of the contest will be released Monday, Nov. 18, on both the city and GCVB websites.
During the annual tree-lighting ceremony, three winners of the Flip the Switch coloring contest will be announced. The winners and their families will help Stinchcomb light the holiday tree.
Santa also will make an appearance at the event.
For details, go online to visitgahanna.com.