Where else but North Riverside will you find a piano player, Santa Claus and a fireworks display to kick off the holiday season?

Come join in the fun with seasonal tunes, snacks and socializing with neighbors at the village’s annual Tree Lighting Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 6 to 7:15 in front of the Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave.

Now in its third year, the tree lighting has become a new and welcome tradition in the village known as the “small community with a big heart.”

Bryant Rouleau, program coordinator for North Riverside’s Parks and Recreation Department, says the tree lighting has quickly proven to be a fun tradition for North Riverside because it’s a great way to socialize with neighbors and get in the holiday spirit before the hustle and bustle of the season sets in.

“With the holidays, you’re supposed to have the warm, fuzzy time,” he said. “It’s a nice beginning to the holiday season.”

Starting at 6 p.m., enjoy hot chocolate, light bites and Christmas tunes while the kids have fun decorating crafts and making reindeer food. Along with Santa, the Grinch and Buddy the Elf will be on hand for photo ops and to help lead the 10-second countdown to officially flip the switch and light up the blue spruce tree in front of the Village Commons at 7 p.m.

As the tree stays lit for the first evening of the season, stick around for the village’s always impressive fireworks display until 7:15 p.m.