Santa made an early visit to Evanston this evening, arriving on a city fire truck to light the holiday tree in Fountain Square.

Hundreds of kids, and their parents, were eagerly awaiting his arrival on a cold and windy evening in the square.

The annual event, sponsored by Downtown Evanston, went off right on schedule, with the tree shining brightly as soon as Santa, assisted by one of the children, threw the giant switch on the stage.

There was music from Northwestern University’s Waa Mu performers along with other groups to provide entertainment.

And an opportunity for kids to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and some baseball team mascots at several downtown locations during the evening.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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