WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Westfield opened its holiday season Saturday night with the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Mayor Michael McCabe hosted the decades-long tradition. Events kicked off just before six on Saturday evening featuring hot cocoa and carols from the Westfield High School Pep Band. The Westfield High School Show Choir also performed, and Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance ahead of the tree lighting.

It’s a time-honored holiday tradition with many residents coming out to participate in the festivities. Some even coming home for the holidays to be with family at the event.

“I love it when the tree light comes on because it is so pretty,” expressed Westfield resident Erica Mason.

College student and Westfield resident Jillian Conroy came home to spend the holiday with family and she told 22News, “It especially nice since I go away to school and she goes even farther away to school to come home and see it.”

“Yeah we don’t get to see each other very much so something like this is a nice time to get together,” said Westfield resident Mike Durkee.

The 23-foot Christmas tree was lit just after 6:30 p.m. followed by a photo-op with Santa and Mrs. Claus.