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Lawrenceville tree lighting on Thanksgiving

This is the city’s 26th year with the tradition

In this file photo, more than 1,000 people gathered at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse to watch the 25th annual lighting of the 35-foot tree in downtown Lawrenceville last year.

In this file photo, more than 1,000 people gathered at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse to watch the 25th annual lighting of the 35-foot tree in downtown Lawrenceville last year.

LAWRENCEVILLE —If you don’t need to hit the hay early for Black Friday shopping, Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation are hosting the city’s 26th annual Christmas tree lighting on Thanksgiving night.

On Nov. 28, residents can come to the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse at 5 p.m. for the opening festivities. Activities include face painting, Whoville hair and crafts for the children, plus food vendors with sweets, treats and warm beverages.

The tree lighting ceremony starts at 6 p.m.

Attendees can gather around the 30-foot Norway spruce and watch as the switch is flicked to turn on 30,000 tiny twinkling lights.

The evening’s entertainment include Class Act Band leading everyone in singing carols, and music by Catherine Kimbro and Norwood.

Later, Santa Claus arrives with a parade led by local high school pageant queens and princesses and Miss Gwinnett in a car on loan from Nash Chevrolet. His sleigh will be on display on the East Lawn. Parents can take photos of their little ones in the sleigh with Santa once he has arrived at the Courthouse.

The East lawn dance floor also features choreographed dance routines by Southern Ballet Theatre and singer Katie Wolf performing holiday songs.

For details, call the Courthouse at 770-822-5450 or visit www.gwinnettparks.com. The Gwinnett Historic Courthouse is located at 185 Crogan St. in Lawrenceville.