The 62nd annual Licking County courthouse holiday-lighting fundraising campaign begins today, Sept. 27.

The 62nd annual Licking County courthouse holiday-lighting fundraising campaign begins today, Sept. 27.

The annual holiday lighting of the courthouse is the official start of the Christmas season in Licking County, according to campaign committee spokesperson Tim Bubb. This year's 62nd consecutive lighting continues a tradition that began in 1949. Generations of local families return every season for the annual lighting ceremony on the Friday following Thanksgiving.

The 2010 fundraising campaign has a community goal of $18,750. Sponsored by the Licking County courthouse lighting committee, this annual campaign raises money for the installation, wiring and decorating of the courthouse, gazebo and the surrounding courthouse park. In addition, this year the committee is continuing its efforts in the expensive conversion of the decorations and stringers from incandescent to more energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED lights. Community contributions will pay for the LED upgrading of the bulbs, replacement of worn equipment and the removal of the decorations in January.

The lighting committee will organize the traditional arrival of Santa Claus and a musical program for Friday, Nov. 26.

The fundraising campaign will run through Friday, Oct. 15. At the conclusion of the fundraising effort, members of the lighting committee will determine to what extent the courthouse and grounds will be decorated for this year's celebration.

Contributions are tax-deductible and may be sent to Licking County Courthouse Lighting Committee, P.O. Box 292, Newark, Ohio 43058-0292. Additional information on the project is available online at www.courthouselighting.com.