Lighting the tree in downtown Rockford is just one sign that the holidays in Rockford are in full swing.
"We love Rockford. We love living in Rockford," Paul Hoffman, a Rockford resident says. "We love what the downtown is doing."
It's the fifth annual Stroll on State for the Forest City, but some this was their first look at what the event had to offer.
"I came down here and was just going to fiddle around because I had the day off," Thomas Brown, a Rockford resident says.
It's An opportunity to sip on some hot chocolate and enjoy what the heart of downtown Rockford.
"We just did some shopping at a couple of places here and just enjoyed being around our fellow citizens," Hoffman says.
Thousands --- enjoying games -- fireworks --- and the unseasonably warm weather.
"Last time it was in the evening so it's nice to get out during the day," Hoffman says.
For Brown, the holiday spectacle comes with a wave of nostalgia.
"I feel festive. I see the globes here in the trees," Brown says. "I see the stroll on state where they closed down the street and that reminds me of my youth."
Streets decked out with presents, Christmas trees, lollipops -- and much more. Some say it's pulling out all the stops to get people into the holiday spirit and celebrate as a community.
"It brings a lot more people together," Hoffman says. "It's not crowded. It's just very festive."
The Rockford Area Visitors and Convention Bureau estimates the stroll on state event brings in roughly 75,000 people to the area.