REED CITY -- Despite the bitter cold, crowds lined the streets in downtown Reed City in anticipation of the first ever Evergreen Festival lighted parade on Friday, Nov. 29.

The parade kicked off at 7 p.m. traveling east on Upton Avenue and ended at the Reed City Depot where Santa led the crowd in singing Christmas carols and hot chocolate was served to fend off the cold.

The evening activities culminated in a tree lighting ceremony at the Depot, where the giant cedar tree was lit up.

On Saturday, children and families were invited to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and decorate holiday cookies at the Depot.

Included in the festival for the first time this year was a poster decorating contest for school children and businesses got involved by decorating their storefronts. In addition, the Reed City Chamber of Commerce hosted its first annual Evergreen Spirit competition for the best overall lighted festival display.

The winner received an engraved paver to be displayed at the Depot. The theme for the festival this year was Candyland.