BRISTOL, Va. – The Twin Cities heralded Christmas on Monday night in a bitterly cold downtown Bristol.

The annual Christmas tree lighting took place in Cumberland Square Park.

"It's a great community event," said Maggie Elliott, executive director of Bristol. "It's freezing out here, but we're looking forward to starting the Christmas season here in Bristol."

The two cities showed the nearly 50-foot spruce and its younger counterpart, a 25-foot Douglas fir adorned with thousands of lights.

The Virginia High School Band performed at the event and held a long Christmas concert.

"Special thanks to our sponsor today, the Bristol Hotel, and to Emmanual Episcopal, who provided refreshments tonight and we're fortunate to have such great community partners to help us make that happen" Elliott said.

This year was the 39th year that Bristol, Virginia, and Bristol, Tennessee met for the Tree Lighting Ceremony.