DOWNEY -- Hundreds of city residents kicked off the holidays by gathering in front of City Hall Monday evening to participate in Downey’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The event was emceed by Mayor Alex Saab and the rest of City Council.
“We’re excited to be here tonight, but we’re most excited – for all of you, for all the kids out there – Who’s ready for Christmas?,” said Saab to enthusiastic cheers from participants. “I guess there’s only one question: Have you been naughty or nice?”
Several of Downey’s organizations participated in the event selling food or other snacks, including the Downey Rose Float Association and Downey Lions Club.
Downey Police Department and Downey fire also made appearances.
This was also another opportunity for the community to see and become familiar with City Councilmember-elects Rick Rodriguez and Blanca Pacheco, who will officially take their seats in the council next week.
“They’re going to do a great job. I’m very excited about our futures,” said Councilman Roger Brossmer, who officially terms out this month.
Kids were able to enjoy a snow slide and play area, as well as arts and crafts. Santa Clause even made a special appearance for pictures.
Before the tree was lit up, attendees were treated to several performances from Downey Adult School Mommy and Me, Lewis Elementary School All Stars, and the Ku’uipo ‘O Hula Halau Hula Dancers.
However, the main event occurred when Saab, flanked by his fellow council members and family, led a countdown that ended in the tree in front of city hall illuminating in bright Christmas lights.