By Alexandria Hoff

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OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) —  The tree in front of city hall in Ocean City has been lit with a little help from the big man and just wait and see how he made his grand entrance.

The halls were decked with boughs of holly, wreathes, mummers and a dancing mollusk.

Add in horse-drawn carriage rides and those carolers and Ocean City’s downtown is transformed into a holiday scene that would make Charles Dickens green and red with envy.

“Each year it’s gotten bigger and bigger and we started with a couple hundred and now we are into a couple thousand and we are really happy,” said Michele Gillian, the executive director of Ocean City’s Chamber of Commerce.

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Happy smiles were seen left and right as this historic beach community ushered in a new season.

“Some people think this is just a summertime destination. No, we don’t roll up the sidewalks,” adds Gillian. “I love the beach in general, definitely Christmas time down here, it’s great I love everything about it.”

The phrase being used to sum up this celebration is “A Miracle on Asbury Avenue” and it’s nothing short of a blessing for shoppers and shop owners.

“I got a pin and my own stuffed reindeer and pug socks and I still have some money left in my purse,” said one shopper.

Blame those savings on the Black Friday deals! But the spending did take a brief pause as a special guest arrived — the Philly Phanatic!

Then as the sun began to set, it was time to light the tree in front of city hall. But before that could happen, there was one more guest to arrive, and he did so from above.

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In rappelled Santa and on went the tree to officially kick off the season.

Many of these seasonal deals will last through Sunday and activities will also take place on Saturday, Nov. 24, making this a whole weekend of holiday fun in Ocean City.

Alexandria Hoff