Evanston 2015 Christmas Tree installed Nov. 18.RoundTable photo

Community members of all ages are invited to kick off the holiday season with Downtown Evanston at the annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Nov. 20 in Fountain Square.

Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with music from the Evanston Children’s Choir and appearances from surprise special guests. At 5:30 p.m., Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Santa and Mrs. Claus will flip the switch and light the tree in Fountain Square.

Afterward, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., community members are invited to visit with Santa at The Merion, 1611 Chicago Ave., and Mrs. Claus at Cost Plus World Market, 1725 Maple Ave. During this time, children can write and drop off letters to Santa at Church Street Plaza, 1735 Maple Ave., and First Northern Credit Union, 1705 Sherman Ave.

Stores and restaurants throughout downtown Evanston will be offering specials, discounts, entertainment, and hot chocolate. The City will offer free parking all day at the three main downtown Evanston parking garages: Sherman Plaza, 821 Davis St.; Maple Ave., 1800 Maple Ave.; and Church St., 525 Church St.

In the spirit of holiday giving, warm clothing essentials will be accepted for donation to Hilda’s Place and Connections for the Homeless during the Tree Lighting at First Northern Credit Union, Church Street Plaza and The Merion.

Donations can also be dropped off at the Downtown Evanston office, 820 Davis St, Suite 151, throughout the season; how-
ever, this location will be closed during Tree Lighting festivities.