SAN ANTONIO – It's official. More than 100,000 lights are shining on the giant tree in Travis Park after the big man himself, Santa Claus, flipped the switch.
The city moved the event to Travis Park because there will be construction on The Alamo next year as part of the Reimagine the Alamo: Master Plan, meaning the tree would have been moved anyway.
After the removal of the Confederate statue in early September from Travis Park, the city decided this year was the right time to make the move.
The 33rd annual H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration went without a hitch in its new location.
Enjoying live holiday music, hundreds of onlookers spent time with friends and family and took in the holiday spirit by taking selfies and pictures as the red LED lights surrounded dozens of custom-made ornaments.
The 55-foot white fir hails from the Shasta Mountains of California. The way it was cut, the bottom half of it is still alive, so it can grow into another future Christmas tree.
H-E-B donated more than $250,000 to get the tree to San Antonio and put on the event.
Earlier in the day, families enjoyed letters to Santa, cookie decorating stations, holiday crafts, storytelling and live musical entertainment. But the excitement was all about the tree.
Ashley Cortes, a spectator, said she was "pretty excited to see how bright it will be."
"It's the first time we came to this event,” said Christian, Ashley's brother. “It's a good time to spend with the family.”
"I'm pretty excited to see the big tree get lit up," said Matt Essman, who was at the event with his twin 5-year-old girls.
The tree will be up until Jan. 8, so there are plenty of chances to see it.