By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The north side of City Hall will have an extra glow to it for the rest of the year, now that the massive tree that sits outside is shining bright.

Large crowds gathered for the 24th annual city tree lighting celebration Friday.

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The Philly Pops, Lauren Hart, and Kathy Sledge were among the performers before Mayor Jim Kenney took to the stage.

“This is an important time in the season for us to renew ourselves and renew our commitment to each other,” he told the crowd of hundreds.

A countdown from ten later, and the 52-foot tree was lit.

“I think it looks very nice, and I think it makes the community come together,” Dan tells KYW Newsradio.

“It’s really pretty,” adds his friend Ali. “It feels like Christmas.”

The tree features a three foot tall gold Liberty Bell on top and 50 custom-designed ornaments. Each person on hand seemed to have their favorite.

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“The peace sign on it,” says twelve-year-old Shawn.

“The big ornaments,” eight-year-old Cara said.

“Love the little icicle lights and how they are dripping down,” says Rae Pagliarulo.

Rae says she’s now fully in the Christmas mode.

“That’s exactly what I came down for,” she says, “it was to get into the Christmas spirit and I am positively overflowing right now.”

Artwork on the tree’s 40,000 pound base includes nearly two dozen Philadelphia landmarks.

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This year’s lighting ceremony theme: “There’s Snow Place Like Home”