The City of Grove and the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce invite you yo ring in the excitement of the holiday season with a fun and festive new event.

Tree lighting ceremonies have been exciting events for years, symbolizing the beginning of the Christmas season. For the first time in the City of Grove's history, a tree lighting ceremony will take place on the lawn of the Community Center. Hosted by the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Grove, the Lights on Grove! Christmas Kick-off Celebration is sure to be a night to remember.

Residents are encouraged to "gather together with friends new and old in the spirit of Christmas and Community as we countdown to the lighting of the community center lawn and our brand new Christmas tree. With the flip of a switch and a few surprises, town square will come alive in a spectacle of lights and sound creating a new tradition for you and yours."

About the Tree

The event will feature the first lighting of the new 14' tree recently purchased by the city.

"I think [the residents] will be impressed," said Craig Criger, the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds for the city. "[The tree has] LED lights and they dance to the music. We chose five different songs for it to play."

The songs chosen are 'Carol of the Bells', 'Jingle Bell Rock', 'Holly Jolly Christmas', 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' and 'O Come all Ye Faithful'. The light shows will take place nightly, beginning at 6 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m.

The tree lighting ceremony will feature the Mayor of Grove, Ed Trumbull.

"We're going to have a countdown, he's going to flip a big switch and we're going to light the tree and the lights on the City Hall lawn," said Criger.

The tree was set up on the Community Center lawn on Monday, November 15 and secured, so as to not be blown over in the windstorm that rolled in on Tuesday night.

"My main goal is to get this tree working, which we did in my shop," said Criger.

About Lights on Grove!

Lights on Grove! Christmas Kick-off Celebration is part of the rebranding process for the annual Christmas Festival.

"From the moment that I heard the city purchased a new Christmas tree I started putting together a proposal to organize an event to light it and the Community Center lawn. Fortunately, the city had the same idea," said Josh Goff, the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce Special Events Coordinator. "We're working together to make Grove shine a little brighter this holiday season."

When Goff was hired, rebranding the Christmas Festival was one of his top priorities. The event has been reworked to have a cohesive framework for the multiple events that take place over the season. Because of the purchase of the tree, the lighting ceremony was added into the festival framework.

"Lights on Grove! is just one of the many new events that make up the all new Lights on the Lake Christmas Festival. The best part is we are just getting started! The chamber's goal with these events has always been to bring families and the community closer together to enjoy an experience they'll only find here on Grand Lake. There really is no place like home for the holidays," said Goff.

Future for the Tree

In the future, Criger plans to 'grow' the tree by adding four foot sections on to the bottom of the tree.

"It'll be fourteen feet this year, and typically these Christmas decoration companies lower their prices in the off season, thats when I would buy another section," said Criger. "Hopefully for next year, I can grow it another four feet tall."

The Lights on Grove! Christmas Kick-off Celebration will take place at 5:30 pm. on Friday, December 6.