NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The holiday season is finally here! The annual New Haven tree lighting ceremony took place on Thursday, Dec. 1.

The ceremony began at 7 p.m., kicking off the most wonderful time of the year. Thousands of people gathered to celebrate the tree lighting marking the official start of the holiday season.

Officials said a family in East Haven donated the 45-foot Norway Spruce.

To cut it down, crews with United Illuminating had to cut the power in the neighborhood. The next step was delicately flying the tree over wires, and then it was off to its new home on the New Haven Green.

Alma Johnson-Sauro of East Haven donated the tree in honor of her longtime companion Ronald Morgan, who died in August.

“Because I am going to be the one to push that button. I’m really excited about that,” she said.

Everyone else is just as excited! News 8’s own Laura Hutchinson and Darren Kramer returned as hosts of the festivities alongside Karla Santos from Univision.