You don't have green fur, so stop being a Grinch.

Don't complain about the cold weather, the lines at the stores or hearing Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" for the 60th time today.

Hop up off the couch and head down to Whoville, err, Continental Square in Downtown York for Friday night's Light Up Night.

While you're at it, bring a date.

Whether you're young or old, have kids or not, the annual event will put you and your date in the holiday mood.

Amanda Meyers, marketing manager for Downtown Inc, promises the crowd won't just be made up of sugared-up 6-year-olds.

"We expect a pretty diverse crowd," she said. "Of course, there are plenty of events for kids."

But she notes there are several options for the grown-ups, including tons of shopping at area stores.

Businesses such as the York Emporium, 343 W. Market St.; New Grounds, 284 W. Market St.; and Growing Up Green, 266 W. Market St., are participating in the 2012 Holiday First Friday passport.

If you get all of the merchants to stamp your passport, you'll be entered into a drawing to receive gift certificates to participating businesses.

But shopping isn't the only thing you and your date can do during the event.

Many of the downtown's popular nightspots will be open, so feel free to grab a cold - or warm - adult beverage while spending a night out on the festive town.


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If you and your date have kids, Light Up Night has plenty of options to bring some romance to a family night.

Not much could be more romantic than a horse-drawn carriage ride under the city's Christmas lights. Or holding your date close while singing along to Christmas carols and holiday classics.

Whether or not you have tots in tow, take a stroll up George Street to the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, where you can find Jazz in the City. Tickets are $3 or free with student ID.

So grab a seat, sit back and relax to some groovy tunes.

Also, you can bring the kids to see Santa at two places during Light Up Night - he'll meet with kids along Beaver Street and also at Martin Library after he makes his grand entrance in the square.

Regardless of the company you keep, which venues you visit and activities you take part in, don't miss the Christmas tree on the northeast corner of Continental Square.

- PATRICK ABDALLA,
FlipSide staff

If you go

What: Light Up Night

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Downtown York

Cost: Free

First Fridays

Jan. 4: Shopping, Entertainment, Dining and Nightlife

Feb. 1: Paint the Town

March 1: Girls Night Out

April 5: Shopping, Entertainment, Dining and Nightlife

May 3: Moms on Main

June 7: Art Crawl

July 5: Shopping, Entertainment, Dining and Nightlife

Aug. 2: Dog Days of Summer

Oct. 4: Harvestfest

Nov. 1: Holiday Open House

Dec. 6: Light up Night

- www.downtownyorkpa.com

The Future of Light Up Night

A $2,500 donation from Bob Kinsley, of Kinsley Construction, helped save this year's Light Up Night.

The money was used to help fund the stage, sound system and lighting in Continental Square for the event and will help cover the city's labor costs, the city said in a news release last month.

The city does not have funding for Light Up Night in its 2013 budget. Downtown Inc will, however, call it's December 2013 First Friday event Light Up Night, said marketing manager Amanda Meyers.

Merchants will still hold their regular monthly festivities on the last first Friday of the year.