The Christmas season will officially open in Paris Saturday when the 18th annual Trail of Holiday Lights Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Parade will take place.

The lighting ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., more than 100,000 lights on the Logan County Courthouse and around Courthouse Square will be switched on by Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers and Logan County Judge Gus Young.

After that, the Christmas parade will take place. The parade route will carry units from the Cloyes Gear and Products, Inc. parking lot east on West Walnut, around Courthouse Square and then east on East Walnut to its intersection with Fifth Street.

The parade’s theme this year is "Lift Your Merry Voices."

The events typically draw thousands to the streets of Paris and culminates with the arrival in town of Santa Claus, who will visit with children after the parade in the Santa Shack, located on the north side of the Logan County Courthouse. The Santa Shack is new this year and was constructed by Paris High School FFA students, under the direction of sponsor Jason Binz. The new house was delivered to the Logan County Courthouse last week by Ed Williams.

Those wishing to march in the parade are asked to be at the Cloyes Gear and Products, Inc. parking lot on West Walnut by 5 p.m. Saturday.

Because of the parade, parking will be blocked off on the western, northern and eastern sides of Courthouse Square beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Grand Marshals for the parade are Bently and Carolyn Allen, winner of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year Award.

Prizes will be given for the top entries in the parade. First prize is $100. Second prize is $75. Third prize is $50. Judging will take place around 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at Cloyes Gear and Products, Inc.

Prior to the lights being turned on Saturday, entertainment will be provided by Ashlin Forbis, Stephen Thomas and the Subi Singers, Megan Lowder, Shannon Briggs, Judge Parker’s Posse Barber Shope Quartet and Gloria Hardgrave.

Saturday night’s weather is expected to be partly cloudy with temperatures in the 40s.

Work on the Courthouse Square lighting display began in October and was done by employees of the city.