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Lighting up Old Sacramento with Christmas cheer

The holiday tree lighting Wednesday brought out hundreds of families after a one year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Each night the Golden 1 Credit Union Christmas tree will be lit up inviting visitors to old Sacramento — hoping for a Christmas comeback after a tough year.

 “I feel great about it," North Highlands resident Ethan McBride said. "It's incredible seeing it light up again!”

The holiday tree lighting Wednesday brought out hundreds of families after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It's just a relief to be around everybody again the community is just amazing - it's feeling like you have a sense of community back and not having the isolation right? that was horrible," Sacramento residents Kurt and Carlos Carr said. 

Bright lights and festive families were just what the district needed officials said after a rough year for businesses including three shootings over the summer that left three dead.

Credit: Van Tieu | ABC10
The Christmas season is in full swing in Old Sacramento following the annual Christmas tree lighting.

“It's a big comeback this year for us of course," Scott Ford, Old Sacramento Waterfront District director said. "We've invested in new lighting that's going up on the building. new street bollards on both sides of k street to enhance pedestrian safety. “

Additionally, longtime safety investments are in the works after the city allocated $5 million of federal COVID-19 relief for the area. But organizers said the best way to improve safety in Old Sacramento is through community support.

“When you buy locally- 2/3rds of those dollars stay right here in the sac economy," Ford said.

Old Sacramento’s 125 merchants ready to welcome back the holiday tradition

"Christmas is my favorite holiday," Auburn resident Lillian Williams. "Not for the toys or anything but the feeling."

The theater of lights also putting on a show every weekend this holiday season making spirits bright.

Watch: Doctors suggest getting a rapid COVID-19 test before gathering for Thanksgiving