Santa and members of the community applaud as the lights come on at the 2012 Light Up Madison event at the Broadway Fountain. (Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie)
Santa and members of the community applaud as the lights come on at the 2012 Light Up Madison event at the Broadway Fountain. (Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie)
Madison's Christmas season officially begins Friday when Santa comes to town to celebrate Light Up Madison.

The celebration starts at 6 p.m. at the Broadway Fountain, next to the city's Christmas tree. Officials will light the tree and the Christmas lights on top of downtown buildings. Students from Madison Consolidated High School will sing Christmas carols during the event.

City officials are asking people to bring canned or nonperishable food items this year that can be donated to the Salvation Army.

After the event, Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet with children at their cottage in the Main Street parking lot until 8 p.m.

Santa will be available in Madison at the following times:

• From 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 6

• Immediately following the Christmas parade on Dec. 7

• From 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 20

• From 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 21

• From noon-2 p.m. on Dec. 22

Letters to Santa can be dropped off in the box outside the door of City Hall or by emailing santamadison@gmail.com. A list of Santa's hours can be heard by calling (305) 707-2682.

The Christmas tree at the Broadway Fountain was donated by Gaye Hill in honor of the Gudkese family. Heitz Sign Co. brought the tree downtown and the street department workers put it in place. The tree was decorated Monday by the Madison Arts Academy students at MCHS.