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By Jerrie Dean

November 23, 2013 (Santee) -- On Friday night, area residents celebrated the upcoming holidays with the lightng of the tree at Santee Trolley Center for the 10th year.

Although thunder could be heard throughout East County, the storm let up just enough for everyone to enjoy the festivities. The event began at 5:30 p.m. with music, activities and booths where kids had a chance to make holiday crafts.  A jumper, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a visit from Santa were some of the favorite attractions. 

The 20-foot tree was decorated with ornaments, ribbons and lights and when the lights where officially turned on bringing in the season, there was a pyrotechnic special effect.  

Many merchants provided free holiday treats and drinks, which included reindeer ornaments, cookies to decorate, face painting and hand-made balloon animals enjoyed by all.

Live music was provided at the amphitheater stage by the Bayou Brothers, winners of "Favorite Blues Band" at the San Diego Music Awards. 

San Diego Performance Academy students, Jade and Christina sang several Christmas songs that was met with cheers and loud applause.

The event was sponsored by Waste Management, California Coast Credit Union, Santee Trolley Square, Daphne's California Greek, Fireworks America, Metropolitan Transit System and KSON radio.