It takes only a moment to light up a tree for the holidays.
But the city of Grandview Heights has arranged a variety of activities to allow families to turn that moment into hours of fun.
"We're even going to have a food truck on site so you can stay and have dinner before the tree lighting," said Marta Durban, adult recreation supervisor with the city's parks and recreation department.
The official tree-lighting activities will get underway at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Grandview Center, 1515 Goodale Blvd.
Before that, however, residents can skate on a portable, iceless rink starting at 3 p.m.
"We had the rink set up for the first time last year and people really seemed to enjoy it," Durban said.
Skating is free; skates will be available to rent for residents who don't bring their own.
The rink will be open from 3 to 8 p.m.
The Grandview Heights High School jazz band and choir will perform at 5:30 p.m.
"One of the things I love about the tree-lighting ceremony is giving families the chance to gather together and have a fun evening of activities," Durban said. "Parents can stop by and see their children perform in the band or choir. It's just a nice, festive way to kick off the holiday season."
The evening will include a visit from Santa, free refreshments and the announcement of the winners of the annual holiday coloring contest sponsored by Pathways Financial Credit Union.
The contest is open to students in grades K-6.
A coloring page was distributed to students at Stevenson Elementary and Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle schools.
Copies of the contest's coloring page can be picked up at the Grandview Center; the Municipal Building, 1016 Grandview Ave.; the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.; and the credit union, 1445 W. Goodale Blvd.
All creations must be turned in by noon Monday, Dec. 2, at the Grandview Center or Pathways.
Prizes of savings-account certificates will be presented to the winning entries.
Residents will be able to purchase an ornament from the Clay Cafe and decorate it during the event, Durban said.
The city's Santa Mailbox will be open for children to drop off their letters to Saint Nick.
More festive fun
Grandview's holiday festivities will continue beyond the tree-lighting as well.
Santa will make his annual visit to the Grandview Heights Public Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 7.
Parents can bring their cameras and take pictures of their children with the jolly old elf, and youngsters also will be able to make a holiday craft and visit with Rosie the Comfort Dog from Atonement Lutheran Church.
Free tickets are required to attend Santa's visit to the library. They can be picked up in the library's youth services department beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30.
Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. One ticket is required per family.
The Grandview Civic Welfare Club will hold its annual luminaria sale beginning Dec. 7 in the library atrium.
"We have a number of streets in the community that seem to have a friendly competition to see which can have the most candles on display on Christmas Eve," said Carolyn Chavanne, who is serving as co-chairwoman of this year's sale with Bev Radcliffe.
The residents of Cambridge Boulevard, Wyandotte Road and Glenn and Lincoln avenues are among those who take part in the festive tradition, she said.
"It's always so beautiful to see so many of our streets lit up with our candles," Chavanne said. "It really sets the right tone for Christmas Eve."
Club members will sell supplies from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14; from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in the library's atrium.
Votive candles, which burn for 10 hours, cost 60 cents; white bags cost 20 cents each; and a bargain bag, which contains 12 candles and 12 bags, costs $9. A $11 "grab-and-go" bag includes a bargain bag plus a lighter and sand -- all of the components needed to create a luminaria.
To place an order, call Chavanne at 614-216-4162 or Radcliffe at 614-488-4962.
In addition to the candles, residents can purchase knitted items made or donated by club members, Chavanne said.
The knitting group meets Monday mornings at the library and is organized by Deena Snapp and Cinda Hine, she said.
The club will hold a gift-tree raffle as well.
"Last year, the businesses around town donated more than $800 in gift cards for the raffle," Chavanne said.
Among the businesses that have already donated gift cards for this year's raffle are Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, CATCO, Clay Cafe, DK Diner, Fortin Ironworks, Glenn Avenue Soap Company, Knotty Pine Brewing, Mama Mimi's Take N' Bake Pizza, Olive Garden, Panzera's Pizza, Sherwin Williams, the Twisted Vine and Grandview Grind.
Businesses can donate a gift card for the raffle by calling Ruthanne James at 614-486-6456.
Raffle tickets cost $1 each, six for $5 or 12 for $10.
All proceeds from the luminaria sale and raffle benefit the civic welfare club's scholarship fund, Chavanne said.
The club has provided $47,800 in scholarships to Grandview Heights High School seniors since the fund was established in 1996.
The scholarships recognize students for their academic achievement and service to school and community, Chavanne said.
The library will offer a holiday concert by the Grandview Singers at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, as part of its Music in the Atrium series.
Grandview Heights Schools will present a middle school holiday choral concert Wednesday, Dec. 4; a holiday band concert by the high school concert band and jazz ensemble band Dec. 10; and a holiday choral concert by the high school's concert choir and Grandview Singers on Dec. 12.
Each concert will be held at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, 1587 W. Third Ave.