The holiday season was kicked off in grand style at the annual Hamilton Downtown Association Community Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony Friday evening.

It was not without a hiccup, though. Santa was on hand to countdown the lighting, and when he reached "3-2-1," nothing happened. The missing electrons were quickly found and Santa's second try brought the lights to life.

Christmas music was sung by the Montana Acapella Society, who will have a Christmas concert at the Hamilton Performing Arts Center December 17.

It was one of the largest crowds for a Community Christmas Tree lighting, partly due to the non-winter-like temperatures. Hundreds of parents and kids were there to see the light, talk to Santa and get warm by the burning barrels on the street corners, part of the Christmas Stroll Friday evening.

The Hamilton Downtown Association decorates the live tree and associated decorations at the Hamilton Post Office lawn. They also are the folks who decorate the Main Street lampposts every year, with the help of the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department.

As part of Small Business Saturday in Hamilton, free horse-drawn wagon rides will be loading up during the day, November 26.

Every Friday in December, the Hamilton businesses will have special late night openings.

The Montana Acapella Society. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)