Westerville will usher in the holidays this weekend with two of its Christmas traditions.
The city's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in the Westerville Municipal Building Courtyard, 21 S. State St.
The ceremony will include live music and candle lighting.
The annual Westerville Sertoma Christmas Parade will step off at about 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at 800 Brooksedge Blvd. The parade will travel north to Schrock Road, east to State Street, and north on State Street to St. Paul the Apostle Church, 313 N. State St.
The parade will be preceded at 1:30 p.m. by the Westerville Sertoma Rudolph Run 5K.
Along the parade route, volunteers will gather nonperishable food items, new toys and new clothing -- particularly socks and sweatshirts -- to be donated to Westerville Caring & Sharing, an all-volunteer local charity which provides Christmas gifts and food to families in need in the Westerville City School District.
Also along the parade route, marchers will collect letters to Santa from audience members.
This year's grand marshal is John Bokros, a 38-year veteran of the Westerville Division of Fire, who retired as chief fire marshal last year.
Bokros is a Westerville High School graduate who now serves on the boards of the Westerville Parks Foundation, the CaJohn's Fiery Foods Foundation and the Westerville Education Foundation.
In the past, he's been recognized as the Westerville City Employee of the Year, the Franklin County Distinguished Firefighter of the Year and the Knights of Columbus Blue Coat of the Year. He's earned Rotary's Service Above Self Award and is a member of the Westerville South High School Hall of Fame.
As always, the parade will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus.
More information on the parade and on the Rudolph Run 5K can be found online at westervillesertoma.org.