The first of many holiday events in Hilliard will be the official lighting of the community Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the historical village at Weaver Park, adjacent to the Franklin County Fairgrounds, 4100 Columbia St.
The lighting of the nearly 30-foot spruce will be part of a larger community celebration from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
"We hope the community will to join us for this festive occasion and enjoy a variety of family activities," Mayor Don Schonhardt said.
The Scioto-Darby Elementary School choir, under the direction of Joyce Brandt, will perform holiday music.
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will visit with children, who also will be able to observe an exhibit of live reindeer.
Other activities at the 24th annual municipal tree lighting include horse-drawn carriage rides, balloon sculpting, cookie decorating, ice sculpting, face painting and a drama by Mouth of the Wolf Productions, a community theater group for children. The troupe will perform Winter Wonderland, a 30-minute program, at 5:15 and 7 p.m.
In addition, docents from the Northwest Franklin County Historical Society will showcase the buildings and structures at Weaver Park.
Several organizations will host holiday events the following weekend.
The Hilliard Arts Council will present Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Cornerstone Church.
The classic Christmas show will be presented at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the church building, 4066 Main St.
Patrons are asked to bring either five canned food items, one children's toy or donate $5 to the Hilliard Assistance Council, formerly known as the Hilliard Food Pantry, for admission.
Also on Dec. 7, Hilliard Davidson High School, 5100 Davidson Road, will host the Hollyfest Arts & Crafts Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for senior citizens and students.
The 31st annual show will feature 118 vendors, vetted by the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce.
Profits from the show benefit the chamber of commerce, with a portion supporting the chamber's scholarship fund, said Libby Gierach, executive director.
Also on Saturday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 14, the Olde Hilliard Christmas will be presented at the Historical Village in Weaver Park.
Presented by Destination Hilliard, the events showcase the historical village.
"We are very excited about this year's Olde Hilliard Christmas," said Christy Clark, executive director of Destination Hilliard.
"We have new displays throughout the outside of the village and the historic buildings are decorated inside. In addition, we have new entertainment, including Stilted Christmas Trees, live music by Hilliard Suzuki Strings and Hilliard Community School of Music.
"We added make-and-take crafts. There is something for everyone to enjoy the festivities of the holiday season," Clark said.
There are different activities each Saturday. Both events are scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14.
* The Craft-A-Fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Admission is $1.
* The Hilliard Lions Club will present Breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 14 at the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center, 3810 Veterans Memorial Drive.
* On Dec. 15, children can visit Santa Claus at "Santa in the Red Caboose" from 3 to 6 p.m. Children can talk with Santa Claus inside the restored railcar at Weaver Park.
* The Hilliard Arts Council will present Handel's The Messiah, an oratorio, at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Hilliard Presbyterian Church, 3699 Leap Road.
* Lastly, from Dec. 1-16, children can send letters to Santa Claus, via a mailbox at Weaver Park. Letters mailed on or before Dec. 16 will receive a reply.
Letters should include the child's full name, complete address, and ZIP code on a stamped, self-addressed envelope.