Traditions will kick off the holidays in Historic Dublin next week.

Traditions will kick off the holidays in Historic Dublin next week.

Historic Dublin will host a tree lighting held Dec. 2 followed by the annual chili cook-off and gingerbread house auction Dec. 4.

"The tree lighting is at 6 p.m. at the tree in front of Indian Run Elementary (School). There will be a musical performance, Santa will come and they'll turn the lights on," said Gretchen Friend, Historic Dublin Business Association community coordinator.

The tree lighting, sponsored by the city and HDBA, will be followed by free pictures with Santa at the Dublin Branch of the Metropolitan Library, 75 North High Street, compliments of Schade Photography Studios. Treats and activities for children will be available as they wait for Santa.

Festivities will continue Dec. 4 with a chance to buy a gingerbread house or sample a bowl of chili.

The 3rd annual High School Gingerbread House Silent Auction will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sisters Sweet Shoppe, 45 North High Street.

Co-owner Melissa Sonksen said they expect 50 homes.

"We're very excited because they're made by high school kids," she said. "Kids love it and they do a beautiful job. We sell them all and the kids pick the charity."

Last year's sale netted $600 for the Ohio State School for the Blind; all sales this year will benefit the Make a Wish Foundation.

"The kids' (gingerbread homes) are amazing. Some of them really look professional and even some of the teachers do them," Sonksen said. "They use every kind of material. They really go all out and they work on them for a couple weeks."

Sonksen and her business partner Nanette Purdy will also offer free hot chocolate, samples and children can make a mini gingerbread home of their own.

People can fill their stomachs with chili from 12:30 to 3:30 at three different restaurants in Historic Dublin with the Holiday Chili Cook-Off.

Tickets can be purchased for $5 to try all nine chilis, which will be at J. Liu, 50 West Bridge Street, Dublin Village Tavern, 27 South High Street, and Brazenhead, 56 North High Street.

Cooks get traditional and innovative for the chili, cook-off organizer and Z-Bearla's owner Theresa Zedeker said. "They do a little bit of both. There's traditional, vegetarian, some do chicken chili," she said. "One year we had someone who put peanut butter in theirs. We had a girl last year who did lobster chili."

People can vote on their favorite chili until 3:30; the three finalists will gather at J. Liu at 4 p.m. for the finale. The final winner will be chosen by local celebrities and business owners.

Votes can also be submitted for the HDBA's "Light the Night" contest; those who vote on their favorite Historic Dublin decorations will be entered to win a gift certificate from Dublin Village Tavern.