TAHLEQUAH, Okla., (November 28, 2011) --- Tahlequah City of Firsts presents “Lights On,” a holiday lighting extravaganza, ice skating party and Santa Claus photo opportunity beginning at 6 p.m. on Nov. 29.

Tahlequah will form a beacon of light from Cherokee Capitol Square to Northeastern State University with each location presenting separate Christmas lighting activities and free refreshments including cookies and hot drinks.

Following the Cherokee Capitol Square lighting, guests can stroll Muskogee Avenue to Northeastern State University as downtown businesses stay open late featuring holiday sales and drink and food specials.

Guests will also enjoy a new Tahlequah holiday tradition with the City of Firsts Ice Skating Rink in Norris Park at 7 p.m.

Leading the “Lights On” holiday lighting extravaganza in Cherokee Capitol Square will be Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation; George Wickliffe, Principal Chief of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians; Jason Nichols, Mayor of the City of Tahlequah; and David Moore, Executive Director of the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce. The Cherokee National Youth Choir will perform Christmas carols. “Lights On” in Cherokee Capitol Square will be from 6-6:30 p.m. with the official holiday lighting at 6:30 p.m.

“’Lights On’ is a terrific holiday event that exemplifies togetherness and goodwill in the Cherokee, Tahlequah and NSU communities during the holiday season,’” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “This is an occasion that can be shared with family and friends, and creates unity and holiday spirit throughout the city.”
The 19th Annual Northeastern State University “Lights On” event at Seminary Hall will be led by Dr. Martin Tadlock, Northeastern State University Interim President. The Tahlequah Ballet; Tahlequah High School show choir; Northeastern State University, Stars in the Summer Series Members; and the Tahlequah Elementary School 2nd grade choirs will present holiday performances. “Lights On” in Northeastern State University at Seminary Hall will be from 6:25-7:10 p.m. with the official holiday lighting and arrival of Santa Claus at 7 p.m.

"Ice skating in Tahlequah, Oklahoma?! Who could have imagined that ever happening? Even if you don't ice skate, come gather at the arena, enjoy the music and conversation with others, and celebrate the beauty of the season,” said interim President Tadlock.

Santa Claus will be available for photos with guests inside the Seminary Hall lobby following the lighting ceremony.

“We invite the community to participate in this annual event where we kick off the holiday season in Tahlequah,” said Executive Director Moore. “It’s certainly a family event where childhood memories will be created and the entire family can share in the excitement.  It’s one of those events that make Tahlequah a special place to live.”

A free shuttle will provide rides beginning at 6 p.m. from Cherokee Capital Square to Northeastern State University courtesy of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.

For a complete “Lights On” schedule of events, please visit the City of Firsts page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tahlequahcityoffirsts.

About Tahlequah City of Firsts
The City of Firsts campaign is dedicated to the citizens of Tahlequah with the hope that they will embrace the designation as a source of pride while creating a sense of unity with the residential, tribal, educational and civic groups. For more information or to share your “first,” please visit http://www.facebook.com/tahlequahcityoffirsts.