Downtown Panama City gets into the Christmas spirit

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Downtown Panama City got into the Christmas spirit Monday night.

The tree was lit at Gateway Park. (WJHG/WECP)

The city lit its big Christmas tree in Gateway Park just after 5 p.m. Monday.

The event also featured live music, food trucks and activities for kids.

Santa made an appearance as well. He hitched a ride with local firefighters and stuck around to take a few pictures.

City officials say they're glad to see the Christmas spirit back in Downtown Panama City.

City Commissioner Billy Rader said, "The city of Panama City is coming back to life, the economic engine is rolling, and to see all of these people, the different food vendors, the volunteers that are singing and participating, it's just a glorious sight to see Christmas. It's the most beautiful time of the year."

The event was free to attend and wrapped up around 7 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.