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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Christmas tree in downtown Wilmington is all lit up after hundreds gathered to see the annual tradition kicking off the holiday season.

Crowds filled the street along the riverfront as the fun started up, with live music, free hot chocolate, story telling for the kids and even a special appearance from Santa.

The tree lit up a little before 6:30 p.m. with some saying the big event is really the start of Christmas spirit.

“It makes you feel good get in the spirit of Christmas, not so much commercialism just a symbol of a Christmas tree, so it helps to get in the spirit of Christmas,” Wilmington visitor Steve Odee said.

If you missed tonight’s Christmas tree lighting, don’t worry. There’s plenty of holiday fun to get in on, including the Wrightsville Beach Holiday Flotilla tomorrow at 6:00 p.m.

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