Annual lighting ignites season

LAWRENCEVILLE - For the past 18 years, families have made Gwinnett County's annual tree lighting a part of their Thanksgiving Day celebration.

After today's traditional feasting, hundreds of people will welcome the Christmas season at the 19th annual Gwinnett Historic Courthouse on the square in Lawrenceville. Ceremonies begin at 5 p.m. when the courthouse doors fling open for self-guided tours of the beloved landmark. The gazebo will fill with entertainers while horse-drawn-carriages stand waiting for riders. The tree lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m.

Santa Claus makes his appearance at 6:45 p.m. and will hear children's requests inside the courthouse in his own special room.

Holiday tours and visits with Santa continue at the courthouse beginning at 4:30 p.m every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until Dec. 23. Carriage rides will be available Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.