Santa makes one of his first pre-Christmas stops in Hamilton at 6 p.m. Christmas Tree lighting.

The annual event, sponsored by the Hamilton Downtown Association, will start earlier in the evening with strolling carols by the Montana A Capella Society. Then, about 5:30 p.m., the kids of the Sunshine Generation and the A Capella Society will sing at the Community Christmas Tree. The tree, next to the Main Street side of the Hamilton Post Office, will be lit with a "crowd countdown" at 6 p.m. KLYQ Radio will provide the microphones and loudspeakers.

Santa Claus will then take kids' wishes at his special bench by the tree.

Each year, the decorating of the tree area is done by the Hamilton Downtown Association, who also provide the snowflake decorations on the lampposts. The Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department puts up the snowflakes. The community Christmas tree lights are strung with the help of Merlin Hochstetler of Bitterroot Tree Service.