DENHAM SPRINGS — At the command of Mayor Gerard Landry, following a dramatic countdown, a switch was flipped and the city’s official Christmas tree blazed into life with multicolored lights at the high point of the “Lighting of the Christmas Tree Program” sponsored by the Denham Springs Kiwanis Club and the Livingston Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau.

A large crowd gathered at the elaborately decorated Train Depot Pavilion to hear Christmas carols, sip hot chocolate and munch on other treats while visiting with friends and neighbors.

Angela Wales, president of the Denham Springs Kiwanis Club, welcomed the holiday revelers to the event. She commended members of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mainstreet Denham Springs and the many sponsors who support the Christmas in the Village festivities each year. The annual Christmas Parade was held earlier.

Wales said the Denham Springs Kiwanis Club has been sponsoring the Lighting of the Tree Program for 25 years and said it is one way the organization can give back to the community.

“This is a treat for all the people of Denham Springs and the area and it is something that we really enjoy," she said. "We see this event as another way to bring the community together in celebration and song. It’s all a part of our local Christmas tradition."

The crowd was entertained by three different youth singing groups, part of the Livingston Parish Community Choir, directed by Barbara Walker. The Apprentice Choir opened the evening’s slate with three selections. They were followed by the Youth Chorus who ended their set with a rousing rendition of “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.” The Chorale offered five popular selections.

Also on stage to entertain was the YAA Gospel Choir that offered two selections. The Livingston Parish Community Choir and the YAA gospel choir joined together to offer “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” before the evening’s song fest was closed out with the combined choirs and the audience singing, “Jingle Bells,” “Joy to the world,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

The evening’s program was accomplished in partnership with the Christmas in the Village program. Donna Jennings, director of Mainstreet Denham Springs and Joan LeBlanc, both members of the city’s staff, decorated the Christmas tree.