The city’s 36th annual tree lighting celebration will be Friday starting at 5 p.m. in Milton Square City Park across from city hall. “For the 36th event, we’ve stepped it up even more,” said James Drinkard, Alpharetta’s assistant city administrator. “It’s going to be bigger and better than last year, and last year was huge compared to previous years.” Before the 50-foot tree is lit up, attendees can enjoy holiday performances, visits and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, dinner and a movie at the Food Truck Village, trolley rides to the Alpharetta Historic Log Cabin and more.
The festivities will also include Mayor David Belle Isle and his family reading “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to residents and guests.
“This year … we’ve backed [the event start time] up to 5 p.m.,” Drinkard said. “The main stage with the music and everything goes live at 7 p.m. This year we’re not putting an end time on it so folks can come on out and enjoy everything.” Attendees are encouraged to shop and eat at downtown businesses. Now through Dec. 19, Alpharetta First and the Alpharetta Business Association is running a “Where’s Elfaretta?” promotion to encourage residents and visitors to shop local this holiday season. Elves will be hidden in participating businesses, and those who find them while shopping will qualify to win one of five prizes.
Friday’s festivities will spill over into Saturday as Snow on the Square returns for its second year. Activities will be held at Milton Square City Park starting at 1 p.m.
“With Snow on the Square, it’s the one time we guarantee snow in Alpharetta,” Drinkard said. “That event is really for the kids and it’s all about the kid at heart. For the adults, it’s great to come out and watch what these kids do. They just go nuts.”
The Alpharetta Business Association will also hold its Christmas Farmers Market from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in conjunction with the event.