Advocate file photo by ADAM LAU --  Fireworks light up the night sky over the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge as crowds gathered for the lighting of the Christmas tree during the 2012 Downtown Festival of Lights. This year's event takes place at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at North Boulevard Town Square.
Advocate file photo by ADAM LAU -- Fireworks light up the night sky over the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge as crowds gathered for the lighting of the Christmas tree during the 2012 Downtown Festival of Lights. This year's event takes place at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at North Boulevard Town Square.

Thousands of people gathered Friday evening to celebrate the holiday season during the Downtown Festival of Lights at North Boulevard Town Square in Baton Rouge.

Highlights ranged from seeing 500,000 lights turned on along North Boulevard and being there when the 31-foot Christmas tree in Town Square was lit up to getting a chance to go ice skating or playing in 6 tons of snow at Snow Village.

Performers, including a magician, balloon artist, stilt-walkers and musicians, contributed to what the Downtown Development District said would be “an evening of visual, culinary and performing arts.”

See more photographs from the Festival of Lights at theadvocate.com.