Downtown Evanston hosts the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony in Fountain Square with an added feature this year — a holiday bash, featuring special offers from downtown merchants.

The promotional events runs from 4 to 9 p.m. with trolley rides, live music and strolling carolers.

Mayor Tisdahl and Santa Claus will light the tree at 5:30 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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