Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for December 3

1. The City of Grandville is welcoming the Christmas season with its tree lighting ceremony. It's all happening downtown at the Grandville Library amphitheater.

The city council will pass out hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes, and area third graders will be singing Christmas songs before the mayor lights the tree.

The public event starts at 7 tonight.

 

2. It seems the traditional Christmas colors are leaning more towards Halloween.

The Black Christmas Tree is apparently a popular trend this holiday season. There's even a hashtag on Instagram for the holiday decoration.

Some people are trimming them in traditional holiday glitter, while others have gone a little spooky with their decorations.

Online shopping site Wayfair says it's seen a 70 percent increase in searches for Black Christmas Trees over the last year.

Other retailers say the color has become their fourth most popular after green, white and silver.

 

3. The celebration of Hannukkah is officially underway and many in West Michigan have begun the festivities.

The Grand Menorah Celebration kicked off Sunday evening at Calder Plaza, where a large Menorah is set up every year.

Ahead of the lighting of the first candle, the organization Chabah House put on some music, handed out latkes, donuts, and the Grand Rapids Fire Department also tossed out gelt and chocolate coins from the top of a crane.

From now until the end of the weekend, one more candle atop the menorah will be lit to celebrate the holiday.

 

4. The barking and meowing is a lot less this morning at many animal shelters thanks to another Empty the Shelters event sponsored by Bissell Pet Foundation.

81 shelters in 14 states took part on Saturday.  Adoptions cost just $20, with Bissell covering the remaining fees.

The exact numbers aren't quite in yet, but we're told it was a great success.

For more information on the Bissel Pet Foundation, and the Empty the Shelter events, head to bissellpetfoundation.org.

 

5. This past weekend 150 athletes from across the country participated in the Mary Free Bed Invitational Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

Organizers say it was the largest competition in Mary Free Bed's history, 12 Division One and Division Two teams played over the course of two days.

The highly competitive tournament is all part of Mary Free Bed's Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program, which provides services for people with limited mobility and physical impairments, helping them get back to sports and rec.

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