Santa Claus, Mrs. Santa and Mayor Tisdahl arrived by fire truck to flip the switch and turn on the lights at the tree in Fountain Square Friday afternoon. Hundreds of families gathered to watch, swinging glow sticks and wearing Christmas hats.
Once Tisdahl had turned on the lights, families headed over to 1612 Sherman Ave., to line up for a visit with Santa Claus. The traditional festivities were complemented by the city's first ever Holiday Bash in downtown Evanston. The Evanston Chamber of Commerce sponsored a free trolley ride to take shoppers to businesses around downtown Evanston for discounts, some freebies and live music.