The annual lighting of the Licking County Courthouse will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, the traditional "night after Thanksgiving."

The annual lighting of the Licking County Courthouse will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, the traditional "night after Thanksgiving."

The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which includes holiday music and a sing-along, Santa's arrival, the lighting of the local building and, as an "exclamation mark,' holiday fireworks over the downtown.

Dave Lehman will serve as master of ceremonies. Singers Belinda Paisley and Hugh Price will sing and, for the eighth consecutive year, the Blessed Sacrament Combined Chorus, directed by Tammy Withem, will perform. Also on the program will be the Heisey Brass, a local quintet.

During the evening, the Courthouse Lighting Committee will salute the Newark Rodders Car Club for organizing the September "Lite the Nite Car Show," which put $5,000 into the Courthouse Lighting Fund.

Santa is predicted to arrive just after 7 p.m. to help light the courthouse and start the Christmas season in Licking County. The fireworks display will be held in memory of longtime project supporter Robert "Bob" Pricer of WCLT Radio.

The Lighting Committee urges residents to take photos of Santa lighting the Courthouse. After the ceremony, details of the community photo contest will be released. The photograph deemed to capture the best image of the evening will be featured on a 65th anniversary postcard marking the occasion.

The Elves in Action will kick off their annual food drive during the ceremony. Volunteers will be on the east side of the square each evening until Christmas. All food collected will go to the Licking County Food Pantry Network.

The Salvation Army's "World's Largest Red Kettle," will promote the Salvation Army Red Kettle Christmas Campaign throughout the community.

At the Gazebo will be the Vineyard Church of Licking County, serving free hot chocolate and popcorn. The church also will provide the popular "live Nativity" that evening on the Square's south side.

Children can meet St. Nick after the ceremony in the Fiberglas Federal Credit Union lobby.

A large crowd is expected, and those who attend are encouraged to arrive early for a parking spot.