The third block of Main Street in Hamilton completely filled with families watching the annual lighting of the Community Christmas Tree next the to the Hamilton U.S. Post Office Friday night.

The November 24th celebration included a special visit from Miss Montana Madison Murray, who led the crowd in counting down the tall tree illumination.

The Montana A Cappella Society provided the Christmas Carols and Santa Claus dropped by to listen a long line of "wishful" kids. Billy the Elf helped wrangle the kids in line,

The Hamilton Downtown Association sponsors the event which including burning barrels on the downtown corners with plenty of s'mores being burned ... er ... cooked.

The Friday lighting is the first of a series of Friday late night openings for Hamilton, with "Merry Grinch-mas!" December 1st, "Follow the Sheep Trail" December 8th, the "Celebration of Light" Decenber 15 and "Countdown to Christmas" December 22.

(Top) Miss Montana and Santa. (Bottom) The crowd at the Hamilton Tree Lighting. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)