The town's holiday tree will be illuminated on the front lawn of Town Hall, on Myrtle Avenue, at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Complimentary hot cocoa will be offered on the porch of the nearby Westport Historical Society immediately after the tree lighting.

Then, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Westport Downtown Merchants Association will sponsor a community celebration in Branson Hall of Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 75 Church Lane.

That free event will feature live music, a performance by the Staples High School Orphenians, ice sculpture demonstrations, hot soup from Oscar's, Bobby Q's award-winning chili and dessert and drinks from Blue Lemon.

There also will be treats and gifts for kids, a blazing fire pit and a visit by Santa.

Local non-profit organizations will provide information about their missions and offer an alternative to traditional holiday gift giving.

Each organization will have wish lists with items priced from several dollars to several hundred dollars that will directly benefit their organization.

Special gift cards also will be available.