Children gasped and adults applauded Sunday as the community Christmas tree --a 9-foot Douglas fir -- glowed with hundreds of tiny lights.
More than 200 people braved chilly weather for the annual tree-lighting ceremony, sponsored by Coaldale CHOSE, in front of Borough Hall.
This year's celebration marked 25 years of the tradition in Coaldale.
Every year, Tim Schilling has been there.
In 1974, his sister, Mary Hnat, suggested the idea for a community Christmas tree to CHOSE. In 1990, Schilling and his wife, Ann Marie, joined the committee.
"My sister got me involved, and it's just become something we do," he said.
His wife and 7-year-old daughter Emily look forward to helping with the celebration each year.
"We love this," said Ann Marie Schilling. "This really brings the spirit of Christmas to the town."
Showing their holiday spirit, residents shared cocoa and cookies, decorated the tree and sang Christmas carols.
"It's really a good time, and the kids especially enjoyed it,"said Pamela Musser, who brought her three children -- Douglas, 12; Amber,7; and Christina, 3 -- to the event. "I think Santa Claus was a big plus."
While Christina danced and sang along to "Jingle Bells," Amber carried a tiny silver bow to the tree. Other children and adults carried lit candles as they sang or shared a word with Santa Claus, who handed out candy canes to smiling youngsters.
"We missed it last year, so this is our first time, and I think it is a very nice thing," Musser said while Amber twirled around her feet.
"I get to dance and sing, and I like it," Amber piped in.
Across the region, other communities were experiencing similar joys as Christmas trees were put up in public and in private all weekend.