Patch is getting you ready for the holiday season, bringing you what you need to know with a full lineup of events, photos and stories. This week, we're talking about:
- When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
- Cost: Free
The holidays officially arrive in Birmingham on Wednesday night as the city prepares to light up the city Christmas tree in Shain Park.
Stick around to ring in the season with local bands and choirs, which will perform leading up to a presentation by city leaders. Expected at the event are:
- Magic 105.1's Jim Harper
- school choir
- Birmingham Brass Band
Free hot cocoa will be provided by .
Also during the event, Santa's House — his home away from home when he's not at the North Pole — opens. Children can visit Santa, let him know what they want for Christmas and have their picture taken with him for $5 (all of which goes to the Birmingham Rotary Club), though pictures are free with your own camera. Donations will also be accepted for Leader Dogs for the Blind. For hours, make sure to check out the .
To top off the evening, carriage rides through the city will also begin Wednesday night. The carriage boards near the Santa House, at the corner of Henrietta and Merrill. The 2011 carriage hours are:
- Nov. 23: 6:30-8 p.m.
- Nov. 25-26: 3-7 p.m.
- Dec. 2: 3-6 p.m.
- Dec. 3: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Dec. 4: noon-3 p.m.
- Dec. 10: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Dec. 17: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more stories and events for the 2011 holiday season, check out the Birmingham Patch Holiday Guide.