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 — Tree lightings are long-time traditions in many Gwinnett cities, and beginning the evening of Thanksgiving, those cities will start to usher in the Christmas holiday season with their annual tree lightings.
The city of Lawrenceville will be the first to light up the night, and Gwinnett residents can come out after enjoying Thanksgiving turkey Thursday. Tree lightings in Buford, Duluth, Lilburn, Dacula, Norcross, Snellville, Sugar Hill and Grayson will follow, and here’s a city-by-city look at those events.
Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation are hosting the city’s 26th annual Christmas tree lighting Thanksgiving night at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse at 185 Crogan St. in Lawrenceville.
Activities will begin at 5 p.m., including face painting, Whoville hair and crafts for children, plus food vendors with sweets, treats and warm beverages. The tree lighting ceremony will start at 6 p.m. and Santa will arrive at the courthouse accompanied by a parade.
For more information, call the courthouse at 770-822-5450 or visit www.gwinnettparks.com.
The lighting of the Buford Community Center Christmas tree will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday. The community center is at 2200 Buford Highway.
Admission is free and the event will include a special showing of the movie “The Polar Express,” as well as an appearance by Santa Claus.
For more information, visit www.bufordcommunitycenter.com or call 770-945-6762.
The city of Duluth will light up the night and usher in the holiday season Saturday with its 35th annual tree lighting.
The event will include entertainment, food, activities for all ages, a winter carnival with kids crafts, activities and games, as well as a giving tree to benefit Rainbow Village and a wishing walk where attendees can enclose their wishes for the new year.
The first 500 children ages 2 to 11 who attend will receive a goodie bag filled with treats, toys and more.
The arrival of Santa will be a sight residents won’t want to miss as he will be pulled on a sleigh by live reindeer.
Activities will begin at 4 p.m. and the tree lighting ceremony will start at 6:30 at the Duluth Festival Center and Amphitheater, 3142 Hill St. in Duluth. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-475-3512.
The city of Lilburn’s tree lighting will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Lilburn City Hall.
The event will include entertainment and activities, and food will be available for purchase. In addition to the announcement of the holiday coloring contest winners, children will have the opportunity to listen to a variety of holiday stories. Mrs. Claus and Mayor Johnny Crist will be among the readers.
For more information, call the city of Lilburn at 770-921-2210.
The city of Dacula’s annual tree lighting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at Old Mill Park along Second Avenue, weather permitting. The event will include music, clogging and more. For additional information, call Dacula City Hall at 770-963-7451.
On Friday, Dec. 6, the city of Norcross will hold its annual tree lighting, complete with hot chocolate and cookies and a live choral concert.
The event begins at 6 p.m. at Thrasher Park, 95 Park Drive in Norcross. At 7 p.m., Santa will arrive, and photos with the jolly old elf will be free.
For more information on this event, call the city of Norcross at 770-448-2122.
The city of Snellville will light its 60-foot tall Christmas tree at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 on the Towne Green. A variety of events are planned from 5 to 8 p.m., including an appearance by Santa.
The event will also include carriage rides, a caroling hay ride, children’s activities, musical entertainment, food for sale and more.
For more information, visit www.snellvilletourism.com.
The city of Sugar Hill will hold its 10th annual holiday celebration and tree lighting ceremony from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Sugar Hill Community Center and on the town green.
The free event will include horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling by local choirs, train rides, snacks, cider and hot chocolate and pictures with Santa.
For more information, call the city of Sugar Hill at 770-945-6716.
Christmas in Grayson will be held from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Grayson Community Park, 475 Grayson Parkway, and will include a tree lighting, photos with Santa, a petting zoo, pony rides, holiday crafts, food and more.
For more information, call Grayson City Hall at 770-963-8017.