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Annual Tree Lighting In Rittenhouse Square Marks Start Of Holiday Season

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Standing over 30 feet tall and adorned with over 3,000 lights, the Christmas Tree in Rittenhouse Square lit up the night sky Wednesday night, unofficially kicking-off the holiday season.

Hundreds packed the square and gathered around the massive tree, that was first planted in the 1970's. The ceremony got underway just after 6 p.m. and when the tree lit up, the mummers strutted across the square, along with Santa Claus.

CBS3 and The CW Philly are also celebrating the annual Joy of Sharing campaign along with the Salvation Army.

"This year we need food, clothing and of course Christmas toys," said Major Robert Dickson of the Salvation Army. "Many people are coming to the Salvation Army for assistance and we don't want to say 'no.' We have to remembers the teenagers and we have special gifts for those who come to us for Christmas assistance."

To donate, CLICK HERE or drop toys off at CBS 3 studios:

1555 Hamilton Street
Philadelphia, Pa.

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