WILDWOOD - The Wildwoods will begin their Christmas season Friday with a tree-lighting ceremony in the Lighthouse Court of the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood.

The lighting ceremony is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and is free. Santa Claus will be on hand, school and church choirs will perform, and refreshments will be available. The lighthouse is located at First and Central Avenues. For more information, call 609-522-4520.

A Wildwoods Family Holiday Celebration is set for the following Friday, Dec. 13, including the Greater Wildwood Jaycees Christmas Parade at 6:30 p.m.

Organizers advise spectators to "bring a blanket or chairs [and] some hot cocoa." The parade will begin at 15th Avenue in North Wildwood and head south along Central and Pacific Avenues, through the Holly Beach Station Mall to Heather Road in Wildwood Crest, then proceed east onto Ocean Avenue and north to the Wildwoods Convention Center.

The rain date for the Christmas parade is Dec. 15, at 5 p.m. If the weather is uncertain, tune in to 98.7 The Coast or visit www.WildwoodHoliday.com for more information.

After the parade, the festivities are to continue at the Wildwoods Convention Center, with a Christmas tree lighting at 7:30 p.m. and free hot chocolate and cookies.

- Rita Giordano