HASTINGS, Neb. — The holidays have arrived in downtown Hastings.

The Downtown Center Association hosted its annual Celebration of Lights on Thursday night. Association Director Tammy Orthman says the event is like a thank-you card to the community, while also providing exposure for the downtown businesses.

“People who may not think about coming downtown will come down for Celebration of Lights. Then they’ll find out what’s new down here and what’s going on. It’s a win, win situation.”

The Harness Hustlers offered horse-drawn carriage rides and local groups performed on the stage. Santa and the Kool-Aid Man led the countdown to turning on the downtown rooftop lights and giant Christmas tree lights on the east side of 2nd Street.

Orthman says the Celebration of Lights has been going on for about 30 years.