2003 Winter Festival

Thousands watched near City Hall in Tallahassee Saturday night as Mayor John Marks had the honor of lighting the sky with over one million Christmas lights. This annual tradition marks the official start to the Christmas season in the Capital city. The lighting ceremony was followed by Christmas tunes performed by the Tallahassee Civic Chorale.

While many took time to walk around downtown and enjoy all of the festivities, others raced to the finish line in the annual Jingle Bell Run. This is the 15th year runners have made the mile and a half stretch through the streets of downtown Tallahassee. Many who opted to sit along the sidelines, cheered loudly for their favorite Jingle Bell Runner. One of this year's runners says he looks forward to the winter festival every year. All of last night's winter festival events culminated with, none other, than the annual winter parade.

Thousands gathered on Monroe Street to celebrate this year's parade. The attractions included jolly Saint Nick, a hand full of elves and a host of marching bands. Some parade goers say this time-honored tradition is one they look forward to every December.

"It's so special because, it's the only parade where Santa comes and everything and they're out there giving out candy and stuff, it's really fun,” said 10-year-old Tim Johnson.

Members of our very own Eyewitness News Team were on hand Saturday night, passing out goodies and helping parade goers ring in the holiday season.