Under the shelter of umbrellas, a crowd of thousands strolled the streets of downtown Rochester on Monday night to greet the much-anticipated Big, Bright Lights.
Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with a couple reindeer, helped welcome the 1.5 million lights. So did Rochester Mayor Jeff Cuthbertson, who took the stage shortly before the 7 p.m. lighting to say it was an honor to help usher in the holiday season.
"We are very proud of this light show," said Cuthbertson, whose young daughters were among the first to sit on Santa's lap after the lights flipped on.
Cuthbertson thanked those among the crowd who were visiting Rochester from other communities.
"We hope that this summer when we have construction on Main Street, that you'll continue to come to Rochester and continue to support the merchants that help make this downtown and this event possible," he said.
The LED lights decorate every downtown building along Main Street and several on downtown side streets. They will come on every night from 6 p.m. to midnight through Jan. 1.