Westmont College will kick off the Christmas season with the eighth annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Kerrwood Lawn on Dec. 2.

The lights on the 150-foot redwood tree, affectionately known as The Giant Pickle, will glow at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Hundreds of students, alumni and neighbors will join the celebration with carols, warm apple cider, cookies and Santa Claus. Santa will be inside Kerrwood Hall posing for pictures with people who bring a canned good or unwrapped toy to donate to the Unity Shoppe, a local volunteer program that helps the less fortunate in Santa Barbara.

The 20-member Westmont Gospel Choir will perform and lead participants in traditional Christmas carols.

The Westmont College Student Association selects people to give the annual Pickle Address and flip the switch that lights the giant tree. Their identities are kept secret until the event.

For more information, call 805.565.6056 or e-mail alumni@westmont.edu.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.