NORTH ROYALTON – The City Green will soon transform into something merry and bright just in time for a visit from Santa Claus.

The 18th annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Parade is a time-honored tradition. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25. Residents can warm up with hot chocolate and pastries, served by the Royalton Hills Lions Club, as they await the Holiday Lighting Parade to step off at 4:45 p.m. from St. Albert the Great Parish. The route travels down Royalwood to Ridge, past the Green and on to the high school.

Santa arrives in style, atop a firetruck as the parade’s caboose, then retires to his cottage to listen to Christmas wish lists.

Mayor Bob Stefanik ushers in the season at the gazebo by flipping the switch to light the Green for the holidays.

Residents Zenon and Gabriela Sobczak always donate the giant tree displayed in the gazebo.

Residents, businesses, civic and service groups and churches can join the Christmas spirit by sponsoring a tree for the Green display. For $50, a tree is decorated with lights and a sign, resembling an ornament, is posted, festively showcasing the donor’s name.

Proceeds from the tree display and the Harvest Fest, hosted back in September, help replace decorations, and a portion is typically given to the North Royalton Food Pantry to assist families in need during the holidays.

The lighting is the Holiday Lighting Committee’s pet project.

“It’s for everyone to have a good time. It’s for the kids, but really it’s a good thing for the entire community, it really is,” said member Tony Sandora.

Stefanik thanked their efforts.

“Without these groups and all the volunteers who decorate the City Green, this event would not be possible,” he said. “This is our kick off for Christmas, and I invite everyone to attend. It’s a great family-friendly event.”

Tree forms are available at city hall, 14600 State Road.