COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Friday night in Columbiana, Christmas came early. The city kicked off the season with its annual event. On the Friday before Thanksgiving, hundreds of people flock to The Circle for the tree lighting and parade.

Braving the cold is the perfect way to describe Friday’s Christmas in Columbiana. Snow was just beginning to fall lightly as the tree came to life and The Circle filled with spectators. People young and young at heart packed in to experience Christmas early.

“We have always just had a passion for celebrating Christmas. Here, we were named one of the Hallmark Top 25 Towns in America. We are thrilled that folks come here for our Joy of Christmas light display that we have all of our theater and our shops and our tree lined up,” said Erich Offenburg, executive director of the Columbiana Cultural Collective.

Dozens of floats and their riders waved to spectators and threw candy to children.

“I was actually in it on the theater float. It was really cold and there was fake and real snow. But it was also pretty cool,” said Arlo Maxwell, an 11-year-old parade participant.

The fun will continue throughout the weekend as small businesses roll out their holiday wares, making this quaint, little city really look like a Hallmark card.

“We love to bring in Christmas here in Columbiana. We have a big, huge lineup here at the theater, but our shops in town have all kinds of specials,” Offenburg said.

This holiday season, the theater will be playing Christmas favorites. On Friday night, it was “Elf.”

If you’re a fan of lights, the Joy of Christmas show will be going on at Firestone Park, where they have more than one million lights making up nearly 100 displays.