TOLEDO (WTOL) - It’ll be both merry and bright on Friday as the Toledo Zoo flips the switch on this year’s Lights Before Christmas!

If you aren’t making your way out to the zoo quite yet, be sure to watch WTOL 11 and from 5-6:30 p.m. to see all of the festive scenes -- including the reopening of the historic Subway Tunnel entrance -- and the lighting of the award-winning Big Tree!

Football fans, don’t fret -- the SEC on CBS will be moving down the dial but still available during the special Lights Before Christmas broadcast. Watch Me-TV over the air on 11.2 or on Buckeye Cable channel 111 or Spectrum channel 992 starting at 2:30 p.m.

The opening night ceremonies kick off the five-week-long Lights Before Christmas display that, as always, features more than 1 million lights, the award-winning Big Tree and more than 200 illuminated animal images spread out across the zoo.

Click for details: LIGHT UP THE BALLOT BOX: Toledo Zoo in the running for Best Zoo Lights again! Ticket information: Click here

The tunnel re-opening ceremony will take place in Blade Plaza, on the north side of the zoo.

At 4 p.m., those who purchased a commemorative subway tile will have first access to the renovated tunnel to locate and see their tile.

Zoo admission gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and there will be a short, open-to-the-public news conference with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. Shortly thereafter, the tunnel will be open for the first time in about 20 years for guests to cross into the historic side of the zoo!

The annual lighting of the award-winning Big Tree, an 85-foot Norway spruce decorated with 35,000 LED lights, will take place in the Garden area at approximately 6:10 p.m.