RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With the flipping of the switch, the annual RVA Illuminates kicked off the Christmas season by lighting up the Richmond city skyline.

8News spoke with a number of local residents — including first-time attendees and people who said it was a yearly tradition — who gathered at the Kanawha Plaza on Friday night for music, food and holiday fun.

The activities continued on 17th Street Market for Shockoe Illuminates.

“The band was awesome,” said Margiesha Spencer. “We got candles from a vendor over there. We also got vegan donuts and cinnamon rolls.”

There were a number of different activities beyond food and music, however, some at the event even traded their shoes for skates and hopped on the skating rink. However, Spencer said the most important part of the event was being able to spend time together with family.

“To give our kids a great experience and have fun and see the lights and enjoy the outside,” she said.