The German Village Meeting Haus will be a good launching or landing point for this year's Village Lights celebration, according to one of the event organizers.

Village Lights will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, throughout the German Village community.

It is free and open to the public.

The Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St., will bustle with Striezelmarkt on the Platz, live ice-carving demostrations, storytelling and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music from the Mighty Troubadours and an opportunity to purchase a commemorative mug, as well as beer and mulled wine.

The lighting of the Meeting Haus will be at 5:30 p.m. Willow Street, which is south of the Meeting Haus, will be closed for the event.

"It is going to be a hub of excitement," said Greg Gamier, co-chairman of Village Lights and the German Village Business Community, which is presenting the event.

"We're just trying to build it bigger and better, make it different," he said.

Students at Stewart Elementary School will create 8,000 to 10,000 candle-lit luminarias, which will line neighborhood streets and paths around and in Schiller Park.

More than 40 local businesses will participate in the event, some offering discounts, beverages, food, carolers and other forms of entertainment.

Not Your Mama's Craft Market will be in the Schiller Recreation Center, and the German Village Makers Market will set up at Flat 51, 1108 City Park Ave.

"This is definitely an event to showcase the German Village business community and to welcome everybody to the holiday season," Gamier said.

Jeff Smith, co-owner of the Red Stable on East Kossuth Street, will sell commemorative 2018 Village Lights magnets.

"This is our second year, so we're making it a thing, a souvenir for the event," Smith said.

The Red Stable is among three local businesses at East Kossuth and South Fifth streets -- Schmidt's Fudge Haus and Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant are the others -- celebrating Village Lights.

"It's a very festive corner," Smith said. "And it can get really crowded."

In other news from the neighborhood, the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, in Frank Fetch Park.