Now showing: Joliet's city Christmas tree

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Yes, Joliet, there was a city Christmas tree lighting ceremony this year.

It was Friday evening but it was virtual, although there was a group of community leaders to keep the annual tradition live. Also there was Santa Claus and Madison Harris, 3, who flipped the switch to light the tree.

The tree lighting ceremony is traditionally part of the Light-Up the Holidays Festival & Parade that was canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Joliet City Center Partnership hosted the virtual showing of the lighting of the city tree on its Facebook page.

"We know the holidays in Joliet start when the big Christmas tree is lit, so we found a way to make it happen even in this unprecedented year,” Lauren Las, marketing manager at the City Center Partnership, said in a news release.

Las urged people to come downtown to see the tree in the Van Buren Plaza across from the Rialto Square Theatre.