With the help of Jolly Old St. Nick, a few thousand candy canes and a traditional Christmas Tree, the Medford Commons will shine brightly when the city's annual Winter Lights Festival kicks off Saturday, Dec. 2.

Celebrating its fifth year at Pear Blossom Park, Medford's holiday festival features an afternoon of kid-friendly activities and performances, plus lights, lights and more lights.

Kids can get their peppermint fix as they try to grab as many of the 5,000 miniature candy canes spread over the park grounds as they can during the annual candy cane hunt at 4:30 p.m.

Then revelers can check out live holiday entertainment starting at 4:50 p.m., with performers including Discovery Preschool and others.

It all builds to an appearance by the big man himself at 5:45 p.m., where with the help of Mayor Gary Wheeler they'll light up the city's Norway spruce and two flanked Nordmann fir trees with thousands of colorful LED lights.