The 2011 Ohio Statehouse Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The 2011 Ohio Statehouse Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

A short tree-lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the west steps (High Street side) of the Statehouse. Gov. John Kasich and his family are scheduled to attend and participate. The event is free and open to the public.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, visitors are invited to bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The ceremony will include guests welcoming Santa Claus when he arrives at the Ohio Statehouse in retro style behind the wheel of a classic "horseless carriage." In addition, the tree-lighting ceremony makes its return this year to the Ohio Statehouse with the illumination of two holiday trees. After Capitol Square is lit, the celebration will flow inside the Statehouse for an evening of fun for all.

This family-friendly festival will also include holiday music sung by a variety of choirs, a Santa and Mrs. Claus photo station, activities, displays, special performances and refreshments.

The Ohio Statehouse holiday kickoff event is a special tradition that dates back to 1915. For nearly 100 years, this annual celebration has brought Ohioans together for entertainment, relaxation and good cheer.

For more information, visit

More holiday events

• An annual downtown Columbus tradition since the 1930s, the State Auto Christmas Corner will be opened and lighted in a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The display, featuring more than 75 life-size figures depicting the Nativity story, is at 518 E. Broad St. It remains lighted through Jan. 1. Local choral groups perform on weekend evenings at the display, which is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

• "Voices of the Season," the Singing Buckeyes Christmas show, will be presented at the Performing Arts Center at Pickerington High School Central at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.
In addition to holiday classics sung in the barbershop style, the show will feature all the choirs from both PHS Central and Pickerington High School North. General admission tickets are $10 and can be obtained by calling (614) 459-0400. Pickerington High School Central is at 300 Opportunity Way in Pickerington. For more information, visit Tickets will be sold at the door, if still available.