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Denver lights City and County building to kick off holiday season

Instead of an in-person event this year, the lighting was virtual-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DENVER — The holiday season kicked off Friday evening when Denver Mayor Michael Hancock flipped the switch and turned on the lights at the City and County building.

It's a week earlier than usual, and instead of an in-person event, lighting was virtual-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festivities began around 5 p.m. Friday.

The lights will be on every night until 10:45 p.m. through Jan. 24. There will also be a light show that will run Tuesdays through Sundays at 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. until Jan. 1.  

The building will be dark on Dec. 21 for an annual community vigil honoring individuals who lost their lives while experiencing homelessness in 2020.

The city said the public is welcome to come downtown to get a closer look at the lights but should follow all city and state COVID-19 guidelines, including mandatory use of a cloth face covering. 

You can watch Friday's lighting ceremony here:

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights typically happens a week after the Light the Lights event, but won't happen in the traditional way.

Instead, the public will be able to view eight floats from the parade at locations throughout downtown Denver. The floats will be available for viewing for five weeks from Friday, Nov. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 31 at locations including Denver Pavilions and Denver Union Station.

RELATED: Holiday Guide: Everything you need to know about celebrating the holidays in Colorado

9NEWS Parade of Lights mascot Major Waddles will also be ready to celebrate the season at these downtown locations with hot cocoa and treats.

The 16th Street Mall, Denver Union Station, Larimer Square and the Dairy Block will be decorated with holiday lights throughout the season. Downtown Denver’s major landmarks will light up during a Grand Illumination ceremony on Friday, Nov. 27.

The Mile High Tree, which puts on a dazzling music and lights show, is also making a return to Denver for a second year, this time on the 16th Street Mall.

RELATED: Mile High Tree returning to Denver for holiday season

The tree will be lit up throughout the season for the public’s enjoyment and will be open for program viewings from 5-9:30 p.m. most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from 5-8 p.m. on some Sundays. The program lasts approximately five minutes and will run approximately every 15 minutes.

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