TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas–not just here in the city but in Towson where Santa arrives Friday night.

Gigi Barnett reports from the 40th annual tree lighting on the Towson circle with more.

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Towson’s Christmas tree is trimmed and ready for the annual lighting.

Red bows decorate the gate near the busy traffic circle.

And stores are getting ready for Friday night’s onslaught of customers hungry for the holidays.

Preparations for the tree lighting are almost complete.

“We’ve been running around getting Santa’s chairs in order. Making a nice place for the Clydesdales and getting their roots in order. So, everything is good to go,” said Nancy Hafford, Towson Chamber of Commerce executive director.

Over at Santa’s workshop, he’s getting ready for the festivities.

Volunteers worked for days prepping the place where Saint Nick will greet children looking to get on this year’s nice list.

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A first-ever mini parade will usher Santa and his friends to the ceremony.

“We found out that the Clydesdales are in town and we figured we’d get a whole group of people to party with them. And Santa on a fire truck. So, we’ve got the Grinch and we’ve got frosty. We’ve got all sorts of people to party,” Hafford said.

And all of that partying around the tree will work up an appetite.

Picking a restaurant near the circle may be the best bet.

Kathy Harden owns Souris’ Saloon in the heart of the Towson circle, where reservations are going fast.

“We are going to have hot chocolate and everything outside for the kids. But, if you want you can sit inside here, have dinner and cocktails…Watch the tree lighting from out front window. It’s a front row seat,” Harden said.

WJZ will bring you all the sights and sounds of the holiday festivities as people across the state get out and celebrate the season.

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