OVILLA – The holidays will officially arrive in Ovilla at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 with the city's annual Christmas tree lighting celebration at Heritage Park, 601 W. Main Street

“The Christmas tree lighting is an event that happens every year and it is to mark the beginning of the Christmas season,” said Ovilla Chief of Police Mike Moon at last year’s tree lighting ceremony.

The Christmas tree, now in its second year, is a Leland Cypress, which replaced the original Christmas tree that the city had lit for six years. The original succumbed to the summer drought in 2012.

“The City Council and I would like to encourage all of our citizens to attend the Ovilla Christmas Tree Lighting 2013 and participate in our tree lighting this year,” said Ovilla Mayor Richard Dormier. “We expect to have a great turnout and I want to thank everyone in advance for helping us have another successful event.”

Santa Claus will attend the celebration to receive little boys' and girls' Christmas wishes and pose for photos.

Leading up to the big moment – lighting the tree, the Ovilla United Methodist Church Adult Chancel Choir will perform Christmas carols led by Music Minister Marcia Haugarth. The Ovilla Service League will also provide holiday refreshments for attendees.