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November 25, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Thousands kick off holiday season with tree lighting at Westlake Plaza

Olivia Martinez, 3, watches fireworks go off over the Macy's building as she sits on the shoulders of her father, Ricardo Martinez, at the tree-lighting ceremony in Seattle's Westlake Plaza on Friday evening. (Aaron Jaffe / The Seattle Times)

Thousands of people gathered outside Westlake Plaza on Friday evening for Seattle’s 23rd annual tree lighting festivities.

The event featured appearances by Mayor Mike McGinn and Santa Claus, music performances by the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Black Nativity, and, of course, the lighting of the tree.

Lisa Gustaveson, a 48-year-old Seattle resident who attended with her husband, daughter and three of her daughter’s friends, said the lighting is a great event that all can participate in.

“No matter what your economic situation is, you can enjoy this,” said Gustaveson, who said it was her fourth year attending the spectacle with her 11-year-old daughter, Darcy. “It’s the whole city of Seattle getting together to kick off the holiday season.”

Darcy and her friends, 11-year-old Julia, 10-year-old Lindsey and 10-year-old Malia, sang along with traditional Christmas tunes, counted down to the lighting and marveled at the fireworks afterward.

“It was awesome, and it got me in the Christmas mood,” Malia said.

[do action=”gallery” galleryurl=”http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/photogalleries/localnews2016858999/1.html”] See the full photo gallery here[/do]

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Christmas, tree lighting, Westlake Center

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