CAYUGA — The holiday season officially began in the village of Cayuga on Friday evening with the annual tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas celebration.

The event began with homemade chili, soups, cookies and hot chocolate prepared and served by members of the congregation at the Cayuga United Methodist Church and continued across Center Street with the official lighting of the village Christmas tree on the front lawn of Cayuga Memorial Hall.

“The village started the event a few years back,” said the church pastor, Kevin Grish. “They invited the church to be a part of it, and it has since grown to become a true community event.”

For 6-year-old sisters Regan and Stella Knight, the best parts of the event were a visit to share their Christmas wishes with Santa and a wagon ride through the village.

“It’s something that they really enjoy,” said the girls' mother, Wendy Knight.

Community togetherness and celebration was the theme of the evening with friends and family socializing and listening to music of the season blaring through the closed-down street in the village that overlooks Cayuga Lake.