ROME, N.Y. -- Thanksgiving season isn't even officially over yet, but cities around Central New York are already getting into the Christmas spirit. On Wednesday, Rome held it's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park.
However, this year was a little more special than the previous ones.
Before the countdown to light the tree, Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo told the hundreds in attendance how great it was to be back, as this was the first tree lighting since 2019.
"We're really happy. There's a lot of preparation that goes into this, and the community really responds well to it. It's our kickoff to the Christmas season, and we hope everyone has a better one this year than they did last year," Izzo said.
After being inside during 2020 and missing out on group festivities like this one, Izzo added that the smiles on the faces of the city residents are what she cares about the most. She said she's glad that these moments can give people some happiness.
"I think people just want some joy in their life, and some hope. That's what Christmas is all about. That's what it brings us," Izzo said.