Lights were being replaced last week on the Licking County courthouse in anticipation of the Nov. 28 annual courthouse lighting celebration.

Lights were being replaced last week on the Licking County courthouse in anticipation of the Nov. 28 annual courthouse lighting celebration.

"The money came in slow this year," said Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb, who serves on the Licking County courthouse lighting committee, the group that raises funds for the annual decorating.

Bubb said the committee raised the $18,750 needed with a donation from American Electric Power. He said the cost increased by about $1,000 this year because of inflation.

The committee owns the lights and displays that are used, said Lee Sundin of Clay Electric.

Sundin and two other workers were finishing the installation last week. He said some of the colors change each year, but most of the decorations are the same. Occasionally, a few of the displays are moved to a different part of the courthouse grounds.

Sundin said it takes him and three other men about three weeks to get all of the lights in place, including replacing all of the burned-out bulbs.

This is the 13th year that Clay's Electric has installed the lights, but it's the 60th year of the annual lighting ceremony, Bubb said.

All lights are wired on a timer so they light up at the appropriate time. Sundin said Clay's rewired the top of the courthouse in 2000 to update the electric system.

The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, with Dave Lehman, serving as master of ceremonies. Hugh Price and Amy Fraley will perform holiday music, with Peter Larson accompanying them on keyboard. Other featured performers include Girl Scout Troop 112, led by Sarah Letki; the Blessed Sacrament Chorus, directed by Tammy Withem; and the Granville High School Ace Singers, led by Paul Jackson.

Santa is expected to arrive at 7 p.m. and will remain after the ceremony in the Arcade, across the street on the northwest corner of the courthouse. His visit with local children in the Arcade is sponsored by the Downtown Newark Association.

All programs will be held on the east side of the square, with performers singing from the courthouse steps. People are encouraged to arrive early to find parking.