Thousands on hand for 66th annual lighting of Macy's Great Tree



ATLANTA - Thousands of people were on hand for the lighting of Macy's Great Tree Thursday night.

Debbie Brown brought the whole family to Macy's 66th annual Great Tree lighting at Lenox Square mall. She got there early to make sure she and her family got a good spot.

"We do this every year since they were babies, to see the lighting of the tree," Brown told Channel 2's Carl Willis. "It's emotional for us when they light the tree. It's exciting because it's the favorite time of the year."

Brown watched the acts warming up on stage and crews putting on the final touches to the sound stage and to the Great Tree itself.

For the first time, Macy's is using an ecologically friendly reusable tree.

"We've changed locations, but we've got a great lineup. Brett Aldridge is warming up now, Judith (Hill) and Megan Hilty," said Macy's spokeswoman Melissa Goff.

The Great Tree will showcase 45,000 lights -- more than 8 miles of light strings. The tree is 56 feet tall.

"Then, the best thing -- as soon as the shows over, the tree's lit, the fireworks, the stores open so you can come into Macy's for your Black Friday shopping," said Goff.

"It's just the start of the Christmas season. We all look forward to it every year," Brown said.

More than 100,000 people were expected for the tree lighting.

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