BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Festival of Lights in downtown Baton Rouge was the official kickoff for this city’s holiday season.

The festive featured 250,000 sparkling lights, a 35-foot Christmas tree, a snow village complete with ice skating, and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

For this year’s annual festival, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome had the honor to officially light the Christmas tree.

“Just like any other festival in Louisiana is all about people, food, fun, and of course celebration,” Broome said. “Of course, we’re celebrating the upcoming Christmas Holiday.”

The people who attended the Christmas event supported Louisiana Youth Orchestra by shopping at their bake sale, where they could get baked goods like hot chocolate and popcorn.

Broome says how pleased she was to see the large crowd attend the event.

“It certainly brings joy to my heart that the citizens love Festival of Lights,” she said.

If you’re looking for a list of Christmas events to attend in the area, click here.