MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) –The City of Monroe kicked off the holiday season by hosting its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 2nd at the Monroe Civic Center Plaza.

The program included several performances of young talented people from the community.

Families were encouraged to wear their favorite holiday-themed sweater at the event, where kids had the chance to take pictures with Santa.

The City of Monroe also partnered with the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. Citizens were asked to donate cans of food to be distributed to needy families during this holiday season.

And to end one of the families’ favorite holidays, the event was followed by the screening of ‘The Polar Express.’

Neely Kilpatrick was one of the attendees at the event, and she shared her excitement about this year’s Christmas Tree Lighting.

“It’s very exciting to see the community come to see the tree lighting and how much it means to everybody, and just giving back to people who don’t get as much as we do.”

“I’m very excited to be here tonight giving to others and being kind,” said Brooks, another attendee. “Merry Christmas! I’m glad to be here at the Christmas Tree Lighting.”

The Christmas Tree will remain lit throughout the holiday season for everyone to enjoy.