The holiday season officially started with a countdown Tuesday night.

At zero, Mayor Robert Garcia flipped the switch to light up Long Beach’s tallest Christmas tree on the Terrace Plaza at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in a ceremony hosted by the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The 50-foot tree has more than 60,000 colorful LED bulbs. And the kick-off party included performances by local musical and dance groups, a fireworks show set to music, laser lighting effects, the dancing waters of the new Terrace Fountain, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a giant snow globe selfie station, two electric kiddy trains circling the Rainbow Bridge and thousands of free light-up wearables for the kids.

Now in its fourth year, the official tree lighting has brought in thousands of Long Beach residents and visitors for an evening of fun and holiday entertainment.

People inside a large snow globe in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Luis Mendez and Claudia Romero pose for a photo in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia during the tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

The 50-foot tree had tens of thousands of lights on it. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Ballet dancers from the Nutcracker perform during the ceremony Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Ballet dancers from the Nutcracker perform. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia poses for photos after lighting the tree. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Crowds gathered to watch the tree-lighting ceremony. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Children silhouetted near a fountain during Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. 
Photo by Stephen Carr.

A train passes through the Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Residents and visitors gather to watch the tree lighting Tuesday night.  Photo by Stephen Carr.

Kids get a train ride during the tree-lighting celebration. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Carolers sing during the Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Carolers sing during the Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Carolers sing as children got a ride on a train during the Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus pose for a photo with 7-month-old Nico Rosas of Downey, during Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Long Beach Christmas tree lighting Tuesday night. Photo by Stephen Carr.

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