Continue the tradition this holiday season with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) and the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association as they host the 24th Annual Lighting of the Tree on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in downtown Lawrenceville. The beautifully decorated 35-foot Norway Spruce, donated by the Lawrenceville Trade and Tourism Association, will be lit on Thanksgiving night. The evening will be filled with entertainment by Class Act Band, The John King Band and Catherine Kimbro, choreographed dance routines and free face painting and crafts for children, as well as Krazy Holiday Hair at $3 per person. The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. and the Jolly Old Elf is rumored to be planning a fashionable entrance this year too, thanks to Hayes Automotive Group. Randy Travis of FOX 5 WAGA-Atlanta returns as emcee this year to host the evening festivities.

The holiday season begins for many Gwinnettians with the annual lighting of the tree ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m., and the much awaited arrival of Santa at approximately 6:45 p.m. GCPR is proud to continue this tradition along with additional sponsors Hayes-Automotive Group, Gwinnett Daily Post, Phoenix Crane and Dixie Homecrafters. This year, there will be an opportunity to donate a toy to the Toys for Tots program, as Marines will be on hand at the Lighting of the Tree to collect new, unwrapped toys for children birth to thirteen years.

Beginning Nov. 26 and running through Dec. 20, the Courthouse will host numerous Christmas activities and events, including Breakfast with Santa for $8 per person including breakfast, crafts and a souvenir photo with Santa. The North Pole mailbox will also be available to drop your letters off to Santa. Each Friday night beginning Dec. 2, An Old Fashioned Christmas will bring families together and children can make a keepsake ornament, decorate Christmas cookies and hear stories told by Santa. For details or to register for special holiday events hosted by GCPR, visit or call 770-822-5450. The Gwinnett Historic Courthouse is located at 185 Crogan Street in downtown Lawrenceville.

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