(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - From the Boston Children's choir, to the Boston Pops, it was a festive night in Downtown Crossing as the Macy's store kicked off the holiday season with its annual tree lighting celebration.
Wally the Green Monster and Red Sox outfielder Mike Carp helped kids deliver letters to Santa to benefit the Make A Wish foundation.
Mayor Tom Menino capped off a 20-year tradition with his final tree lighting and celebration of local businesses. "Macy's has been a great partner with the city of Boston all the years I've been mayor, and let's continue to have a great spirit in the city of Boston over the next 20 years, for all you folks out there, happy holiday season and shop locally," he said.
The mayor needed a little help from the North Pole to get things kicked off right. The host of the evening said, "I think I hear the sound of jingle bells, and here he comes now, Mr. Mayor, here comes Santa Claus!"
Santa said, "Happy Holidays everybody, ho, ho, ho, ho!"
With a little magic, and some help from the audience, the tree burned brightly creating an impressive display for the eager crowds below.
Robin Anderson who's visiting from Amherst, NY said, "It reminds me of my youth."
Seven-year-old Joshua Rand of Jamaica Plain said, "There is a lot of lights on that tree, there's not a lot of green parts though." His father, Doug said, "I think it draws people downtown, which is fantastic and it's a good, vibrant part of the city culture here so it's great."