Hundreds of people gathered in Passyunk Square to "Deck the Avenue" and kick off the holiday season with their neighbors.
"It is a nice, free event for families to come here and hear Christmas carols and a tree lit and enjoy a winter evening," said Renee Garlinger.
Bundled up and sipping hot chocolate, the crowd full of families enjoyed live music and reflected on their close-knit neighborhood.
"It's beautiful to see everybody together for the holiday or special occasion to just hang out," said Felicia Elman.
"It kicks off the season and encourages people to come to the avenue and shop, dine and enjoy the amenities down here," said Sam Sherman.
South Philadelphia's largest tree-lighting event at the singing fountain kicks off a month full of festivities in the neighborhood including sales and promotions at the more than 150 independently owned shops, restaurants and bars that could use a little extra attention this time of year.
"Oh yeah, we love it, love it! You have to shop on the Passyunk," said Grace Santivasci.
But before the shopping came a visit with The Big Guy.
Santa circled the square and posed for pictures with young believers.
The now decked-out Christmas tree on the square, served as a bright backdrop for the gathering which brought a wide range of neighbors together.
"You'll see old time residents, new residents, children, young adults," said Sherman.
"It shows you how South Philadelphia is so close," said Elman.