WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Getting the holiday season started in the Brass City. The community gathered on the town green Sunday evening to light up the tree.

Waterbury is off to a jolly start this holiday season. The lights were shining and even Saint Nick was ready to bring some cheer to the crowd tonight. The event began at 5 p.m. and the tree lighting ceremony was at 6 p.m. News 8’s own Joe Furey flipped the switch.

WEB EXTRA: Joe Furey spoke with excited community members and performers ahead of the tree lighting on the Waterbury town green

Flo Alleyne couldn’t wait any longer to bring her 5-year-old daughter, Nevieyah, to a tree lighting.

“We were like, let’s go, we’ve got to do it this year,” Alleyne told WTNH.

Alleyne, who lives in Waterbury, said that the experience was much more special this year.

“We were cooped up during the pandemic, so to be able to come out and to actually see it in person – I would say means more and has more meaning for us than previously,” Alleyne said.

In 2020, the city held a virtual lighting and called off its usual festivities and gathering due to the pandemic, but it was all back this year. Along with the tree lighting, the night also featured horse and carriage rides, hot chocolate, and Christmas caroling.

The city certainly made sure to put on a show this year. Mark Lombardo, the deputy director of public works for Waterbury, said that crews have been hard at work the past two months, hanging Christmas decorations throughout downtown.

Restoring this joyous tradition added some happiness to the community. Another Waterbury resident, Amanda Solla, said that it was “much better than staying in the house like last year” and “it’s great to come out and have some fun.” Additionally, Apriani Deyo, a singer in the Pal Choir, noted that “I just like seeing all of the lights because they’re colorful and it’s just very inspirational.”

Waterbury’s tree lighting was among the many holiday festivities set to hit the state over the next few weeks. On Thursday, Middletown presented “Holiday on Main Street,” and New Haven will host their own lighting on December 2. A Hamden Menorah lighting is set to commence tomorrow, November 29.