The annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony will be just the start of the seasonal fun in the Grandview Heights community.

"We have all kinds of events planned to get you into the holiday spirit," said Senior Recreation Supervisor Marta Durban.

The ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Grandview Center, 1515 W. Goodale Blvd.

"The tree lighting is a great family-friendly way to kick off the holiday season," Durban said.

The evening's activities won't be limited to the lighting of the tree.

"We'll have carols sung by the Grandview Singers, refreshments, and Clay Cafe will be on hand with ornaments you can buy and decorate right there at the Grandview Center," Durban said.

"It really is a fabulous holiday event," she said.

The winners of the annual holiday coloring contest sponsored by Pathways Financial Credit Union will be announced at the event, and they'll get to help flip the switch to light the holiday tree, said Recreation Supervisor Taylor Lindsey.

Winners will be selected in four age categories: kindergarten and grades 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6, she said.

Copies of the contest's coloring page can be picked up at the parks and recreation offices, 1515 W. Goodale; Pathways Financial, 1445 W. Goodale; at Grandview schools; and in the youth services department at the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.

Entries must be returned by Dec. 4 to the parks department office or Pathways, Lindsey said.

Prizes of savings-account certificates in the amount of $50 for first place, $25 for second and $10 for third will be presented in each age group.

From Dec. 1-13, residents can take part in a holiday scavenger hunt and earn chances to win prizes, Lindsey said.

"Each day we'll have a local business that will have a Bubble Elf on the Shelf," she said. "We'll give a clue of where the elf is each day on our Facebook page and if you submit a picture of the elf that day, you'll be entered into a drawing for gift cards from the participating businesses."

Every day will offer another chance to be entered in the drawing, so participants could have as many as 13 entries, Lindsey said.

The parks department also will hold a gingerbread house-decorating contest at 1 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Grandview Center.

Cost is $3 for residents, $5 for nonresidents and all the ingredients and materials will be provided, Lindsey said.

There will be no prizes for the gingerbread event -- but participants will be able to take their gingerbread house home with them, she said.

The city has made special arrangements to deliver children's letters to Santa, Lindsey said.

Youngsters will be able to drop off their letters between Nov. 28 and Dec. 18 in mailboxes at the Grandview Center and the Grandview Library, or may email them to santa@grandviewheights.org.

Each youngster will get a return letter from Santa delivered to their home, Lindsey said.

Parents who have some last-minute shopping to complete will be able to drop their children off for a morning of holiday activities from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Dec. 22 at the Grandview Center.

"It will be the first day of the schools' holiday break and we'll have a whole bunch of fun activities planned," Lindsey said. "It will give parents a chance to get out and get their shopping done."

Santa will pay his annual visit to the Grandview Library at 11 a.m. Dec. 9.

Families are encouraged to take pictures of their children with Santa at the event. Youngsters also will be able to make a holiday craft and visit with Rosie the Comfort Dog from Atonement Lutheran Church.

The library will present a holiday concert by the Grandview Singers at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at part of its Music in the Atrium concert series. The chorale will be under the direction of Andrew Grega.

The series also will feature acoustic guitarist John Sherman performing Celtic, Scottish and holiday music at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in the atrium.

The Grandview Heights City School District will present a middle school holiday choral concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 6; a holiday concert by the high school band at 7 p.m. Dec. 12; and a high school holiday choral concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

All three concerts will be held in the high school auditorium, 1587 W. Third Ave.

The village of Marble Cliff will hold its annual holiday party, open to village residents and their families only, Dec. 4 in the Our Lady of Victory Church Parish Center on Roxbury Road.

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