And a menorah lighting kicked off Hanukkah celebrations.
A few hundred people spent Sunday night rocking around the newly lit-up Christmas tree.
“We didn’t know the mayor knew Santa, so that is pretty special,” said one Lexington resident.
Saint Nick himself even took time off from the North Pole to make it down in time for the tree lighting ceremony.
“It’s one of those things that makes Lexington feel like a small town. I grew up in a big city, and we didn’t have anything like this,” said another ceremony goer.
It’s a way to gather and ring in the holiday season together.
“We try to come down here every year. We didn’t get to come last year, of course so it was nice to have a little bit of normal,” said one resident, there with his family.
It was also an opportunity for inclusivity in the city. Next to the bright lights and ornaments is a 10-foot menorah.
The first candle lit on the first night of Hanukkah. Another 10-foot menorah standing tall in the window of the Government Center for all to see when passing by.
“The entire purpose of the menorah is that tomorrow we add another light. And each person adds their light. They light up their menorah, they light up our community, they light up our city,” said Rabbi Shlomo Litvin with the Chabad of Bluegrass.
The tree and menorah lightings are a way to signify the start of the different holiday seasons. But even more than that, they’re giving people a much-needed sense of community after a long year and a half apart.
“Especially after last year, being able to be around people is pretty cool.”