Beaufort's Night on the Town on Friday had something for everyone.
"It's one of the only places you can bring your kids and let them run around and you know they can be safe," Aaron Sarathy said.
Visitors packed downtown streets, which were closed to vehicles, for the annual holiday celebration that offered food, music and the lighting of Beaufort's Christmas tree.
"It's good family fun where you can see your friends (and) have a drink on the street," Jennifer Wallace said.
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"And Santa doesn't think you're naughty for doing it," Sarathy added.
Entertainment included Studio B dancers, the Parris Island Marine Corps Band, and groups from Lady's Island Elementary and Battery Creek High schools.
Glowing puppets provided by Community Bible Church's Soul Patrol group entertained children and adults alike with Christmas stories, while St. James Orthodox Church members sang on the steps of the Verdier House.
A reading of "The Night Before Christmas" preceded the lighting of the city Christmas Tree on Freedom Mall near the Beaufort Downtown Marina.
Although the lighting is an annual tradition, this was the first year for the tree, which replaced one that was dying of disease. Despite the new tree's comparatively small size, the crowd of several hundred cheered as the switch was flipped and the tree blazed with holiday lights.
"We have a small tree, but next year it's going to be bigger, and the next year it's going to be even bigger," Mayor Billy Keyserling told the crowd.
Main Street Beaufort, USA, plans Night on the Town with the help of business and nonprofit sponsors.
The weekend is filled with holiday events.
At 5:30 p.m. today, the Light up the Night boat parade sails past the seawall in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.
At 3 p.m. Sunday. the annual city Christmas parade winds its way through downtown.
Events like these are an annual tradition for families like Charlie and Fran Calvert, who brought daughters Frances, 4, and Vivian, 2.
"It's one of the reasons we moved to Beaufort," Charlie Calvert said.
As Frances danced around Bay Street offering people her extra Christmas cookies, she said her favorite part of Night on the Town was the tree lighting.
She also wanted to tell Santa to bring her a pink camera so she can take her own photos instead of always borrowing mom's.