SOMERSET, Pa. – The Light Up Somerset & Holiday Parade was a hit.

A parade proceeded from Rosina Avenue to West Main Street and ended at North Center Street, where Santa lit a tree with a star high above the crowd gathered along sidewalks.

The tree stands in front of the Somerset County Courthouse in the county seat of Somerset Borough, home to about 5,000 people.

Somerset Borough police Chief Randy Cox estimated the crowd to be “in the thousands.”

Duane Wong, of Somerset, said the event draws visitors as well as locals.

“It’s a wonderful thing,” Wong said. “This brings a lot of tourism dollars to Somerset Borough.”

After the ceremonial tree lighting, people warmed themselves by fires and carolers sang on steps of buildings along Main Street.

The parade included dancers and a team of huskies leading a pickup truck with a sleigh in the back.

Cornelia Danica and her friends enjoyed the night out.

“I moved here recently and haven’t seen the tree lighting until now,” she said.

Luke Kleinert, 10, waited eagerly for his favorite part of the event.

“Santa comes and turns on the lights,” he said.

Russ O'Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.

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