If Black Friday was the official shopping start to the holiday season, then Thursday night's tree lighting and parade in Broadway Plaza was the official start of the holidays in Walnut Creek.
Hundreds turned out to hear Christmas music by the Mistletones, watch locals in a parade through Broadway Plaza, and cheer as the tree was lit in the center of the plaza.
Broadway Plaza retailers were on scene to distribute goodies and spread the Christmas cheer.
For teenagers, the annual tree lighting in Walnut Creek offers them the chance travel back in time.
"It really brings me joy and reminds me of my childhood," said Katie Santos, who enjoyed the lighting of the big tree the most.
Ted Porter was the master of ceremonies for the stage, located right next to the fountain in Broadway Plaza.
"The best part is the families coming out with all the children," explained Porter. "It's the start of the holiday time with a beautiful parade. All the store are open, and the whole center is closed to cars."
"It's just a great way to get away from the business of the day and just enjoy some fellowship time with our families."