WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The city of Washington came alive Tuesday with the spirit of Christmas as the town’s tree was officially lit.

The Washington Harbor District Alliance and the city of Washington teamed up this year to add a little extra holiday spirit for the city. Tuesday night, they did just that with the lighting of the 18-foot tree lit up, wreaths, and other attractions across the city

Kids were also getting a special guest appearance from the jolly man himself, Santa Claus.

Meg Howdy, the executive director of Washington Harbor District Alliance, said Tuesday night was “all about bringing the Christmas magic.”

“This will allow us to come back together in a safe environment outside and really celebrate one another and celebrate our charming historic downtown. It’s exciting to be together and that’s what makes Washington special is our people,” Howdy said.

Many Washington residents appreciated the holiday cheer starting early.

“It’s been a tough couple of years for everybody just with COVID and everything,” said Emily Houston who attended the tree lighting. “I feel like this is the first year in a couple of years that things are semi back to normal for the holidays, so I was really relieved to see they were doing a big event like this where we could come and be together as a community. And just really feel the Christmas spirit and cheer with the holidays starting.”