BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The annual Hometown Christmas was celebrated in Belvidere, Friday night. A parade, actives, and a tree lighting filled the night’s schedule.

Hometown Christmas has been held now for almost 20 years, hosted by the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce.

“We are super excited, the whole community comes together and puts on a carnival for the kids at the YMCA, there’s Giving trees to look at at the community building. There’s food trucks, there’s restaurants open. There’s carriage rides, there’s just so much going on tonight,” said Amy Nord the Executive Director for Belvidere Chamber of Commerce.

The event brought everyone out. The community came together to celebrate the Christmas spirit.

“Trying to have some fun, enjoy the Christmas spirit,” said Blaine, a spectator.

“I’ve lived in Belvidere all my life so this is something I like to do. So we come out here just to be with the Hometown Christmas. We watch it all, we come out here every year,” said Scott Williams a resident of Belvidere.

“Just thought it would be cool to see the parade, maybe get some candy and stuff,” said Madi a spectator.

“This is the biggest event that we do for the community. Throughout the year. Last year we brought down approximately 11,000 to the downtown area. They fill the restaurants, they walk in the stores, they discover new things downtown,” Nord said.

This year local businesses were a part of the fun more then ever.

“So you will see different business in the parade, you’ll see organizations, the non-profits, you’ll see girl scout troops, you’ll see the park district, you’ll see the mayor, and of course Santa brings up the end of the parade,” Nord said.

The night capped off with some words from the mayor and the big city tree lighting.