FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Soldiers and their families officially kicked off the holiday season on Fort Drum Tuesday night at the post's annual tree lighting ceremony. Nearly 500 people braved the snow to see the Christmas tree and Menorah light up.
Immediately after, Santa arrived on a fire truck. The festivities were then moved inside, where children had a chance to meet Santa.
It's an event that serves to build the post's community each year.
"Half of our division is deployed or in transit, going or coming back, and there's many families here whose spouses are overseas and this is kind of how we take care of them," said Harold Greer, Fort Drum FMWR Director.
Free food and toys were also handed out to the families.