Events in Downtown Phoenix and Glendale mark start of the holiday season

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- It's the day after Thanksgiving, and several Valley holiday traditions are getting underway on Friday night.

On Friday night in Downtown Phoenix, the ice skating rink opened up for the holiday crowds, and people gathered to witness the lighting of the holiday tree. The event brought people from all over, including newcomers. Some who spoke with FOX 10's Jennifer Martinez said they moved to the Valley from Missouri. The rink is open until January 6.

In Glendale, the city kicked off its holiday celebrations with a lighting ceremony for its "Glendale Glitters" event. Now in its 25th year, the event features 1.6 million lights, and on Friday night, there was also a fireworks display to mark the start of the holiday season. The West Valley city's mayor, the city council, and Cardinals player David Johnson were on hand to flip the switch, and turn on the lights.

Like the event in Downtown Phoenix, Glendale Glitters attracted people form other parts of the country as one.

"It's pretty nice," said a person who came from Orange County, California. "I haven't seen this many trees lit up like this. They don't have enough space in Orange County to do this, or this many trees!"

The event also featured a number of food vendors, gifts, kids' activities, and, of course, Santa himself.

While there's talk that this may be the last Glendale Glitters, some people at the event refuse to believe it. The event goes on until January 12.