By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of people gathered at The Philadelphia Museum of Art to take part in the annual Christmas tree lighting.

The free hot chocolate helped keep spirits warm during the chilly tree lighting ceremony Wednesday night.

The giant tree sits atop the “Rocky steps” at the Art Museum and is adorned with an array of lights and topped with a star.

For Margaret from San Diego, who’s visiting family in Philadelphia, the cold temperatures were just what she was looking for to help get her into the holiday spirit.

“I love the weather. It’s a nice change,” she said. “It’s really nice to be here. Now where’s the snow? I would like to know.”

Anila and Lana, in town from Dubai, say the gingerbread men, candy canes, and carolers helped make their first taste of the holidays in the states something special.

“The Christmas tree is huge,” said Anila. “I’ve never seen something that big. I’m excited to see the tradition.

“This is amazing,” Lana said. “It’s really great to see people embrace that joy of the season.”

On hand to help light the tree was the Philadelphia Girls Choir.  They helped provide the soundtrack for the event.

For those who missed this tree lighting, you’re not totally out of luck. The City of Philadelphia lights its official holiday tree at City Hall on Friday.

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