Many gather in downtown Houston for tree lighting ceremony

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Santa hats were on as folks gathered around Houston City Hall for the 98th annual Mayors Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony.

"I love all the booths, very loving, very interesting, just brought me into the spirit of Christmas even more", says Miss Teen Texas International Xena Aouita.

It's a big Houston tradition and for some it was their first time out.

"I've lived in Houston for twelve years and never actually went out for the holidays so I wanted to try something new, it was a new experience for me and my children", says Nijhwa Smith who brought out her family.

Outside folks could enjoy meeting Santa, getting their faces painted and could donate toys to the Salvation Army.

"In spite of our challenges we always rise to the occasion and tonight we are so thankful to God and so many others for staying with the city of Houston", says Mayor Sylvester Turner.

At the end of the event the lights turned on, on a 65 foot tall Christmas tree and fireworks were set off for everyone to enjoy.
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