It's always the first Monday in December and it always kicks off the Christmas season in Midlothian.

The Midlothian Chamber of Commerce will host the "Holiday Light Up Parade" at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3.

This year's theme is Christmas Carols.

"The chamber is always proud to hosts the holiday parade and it's always a fun time for families and the community," said Amanda Miller, Executive Director of the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce. "It's the first big holiday event for Midlothian and it's always a festive time."

The parade will wind through the streets of Midlothian. The community will then gather at the Midlothian Conference Center for the Festival of Trees.

The parade will begin at the Midlothian High School, travel West on George Hopper Road, turn right onto 14th Street and end at the new football stadium.

The parade will feature a staging area along George Hopper Road where an emcee will announce each entry as it passes.

"This route will allow for easy viewing along George Hopper Road and 14th Street," said Amanda Miller, Executive Director for the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce. "We've had numerous calls from groups, businesses and individuals who want to participate in this annual holiday tradition, and we are proud to be able to present a safe and memorable event for families."

Awards will be given for Best Use of Theme, Best Use of Lights, and Most Creative Float.

The Festival of Trees was dreamed up the first year the Midlothian Conference Center opened and has quickly grown into a community event that draws hundreds to the conference center.

The event is free but you do have to submit an entry form by Nov. 28.

"Everyone is invited to place a tree," said Mary Rustin, Midlothian Conference Center Executive Director. "Church groups, businesses, school clubs and home room classes, social clubs, families and civic groups need to get the Christmas spirit and put up a tree."

"We were initially looking to decorate the Center for the holidays," said Rustin. "It's become a family event for many and it's the perfect way to show-off the Center."

The Conference Center is routinely open after hours during the holidays for company parties and large family gatherings. Many make a tour of the Festival of Trees a part of their annual holiday shopping outing.

The trees will be unveiled this year immediately after the Chamber parade with a special program complete with entertainment and refreshments.

"We always have a lot of fun with this," said Rustin. "It will be no different this year."

For more information on the Festival of Trees contact Rustin at the center 972-723-7919 or e-mail midconfcntr@aol.com. Please furnish your name, organization and phone number.

Anyone interested in participating in the Holiday Light Up Parade should call the chamber at 972-723-8600 or email at info@midlothianchamaber.org to sign up by Friday, Nov. 30.