westside-tree-2008A scene from last year’s edition of the Westside Community Group tree lighting. (Click to enlarge)

It doesn’t draw nearly the crowd of its downtown cousin, but what the annual Westside Community Group holiday tree-lighting event lacks in spectacle it more than makes up for in intimacy.

Brevity, too.

The event, scheduled for 4p at Westside Park (the triangular park at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard), is a tidy little affair that lasts just one hour.

In that time, there’s hot chocolate; caroling by students from both the West Side Christian Academy and the Boys & Girls Club; the arrival of Santa Claus on a firetruck; and lots of casual milling.

There’s no rain date. Here’s the forecast for Saturday from the National Weather Service:

Rain likely before 5pm, then snow, possibly mixed with rain. High near 43. North wind between 8 and 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.