WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Jolly Kris Kringle made a special stop in northeastern Pennsylvania today for a beloved tradition.

Sights and sounds of the holiday season filled downtown Wilkes-Barre as Santa’s sleigh made its way down south main street.

Big crowds lined the streets as more than 700 parade participants, including the Eyewitness News team, marched and tossed candy aboard festive floats through town.

“It’s a beautiful turnout, so many people, it’s great, so nice. We needed this!” exclaimed Liza Charles, Wilkes-Barre Township.

“I love when the community does things together, and especially since for us it’s close by so it makes it even more accessible and fun,” said Donna Arce, from Wilkes-Barre.

Parade-goers come out for many reasons, but for Chase Schneider, it was one big one.

“How excited are you to see Santa?” Madonna asked.

“I’m actually really, really excited,” Chase responded.

“To be able to bring Chase here and celebrate the holiday with him is, like, an absolute dream come true like, it’s like a Hallmark movie in real life,” Rachael Schneider, Chase’s Mom, told Eyewitness News.

Families flocked to the center of Public Square with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Mayor George Brown for the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting.

“Santa! Hey, Santa! Merry Christmas!” children yelled as Santa rode by.

“Everybody wants to come out, be in the open air, have a good time, and have fun. And you could see by all the people here today, everybody is so happy,” said Mayor George Brown, Wilkes-Barre.

Happiness that contributes to the city’s economic development.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to downtown Wilkes-Barre during the next few weeks for shopping and dining and holiday events, and this is just the start,” said Larry Newman, Executive Director of Diamond City Partnership.

The city of Wilkes-Barre is celebrating “Small Business Saturday” on November 26.