Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A holiday tradition continued on Monday night as hundreds of people gathered at the State House for the 51st Annual Governor's Carolighting celebration.

"It was very exciting," says Owen Jackson, who was happy to see his brother singing in the District 5 Honor's Choir.

Jill Jackson, his mother, brought her children to the family event.

"This is our first time here, and I've been looking forward to it," says Jackson. "We are going to see Santa and to see the tree being lit, I think it's going to be a good time."

The event marks the start of the holiday season.

"I think this is going to be a great start to the season," says Jackson. "To see the tree lit and to really put us in that magical place."

"I'm ready to just get into the spirit and we've got the tree up already," says Charito Abando. "We had our tree up before Thanksgiving."

The event was full of music, singing and a special word from Governor Henry McMaster.

However, the lighting of the Christmas Tree stole the show as more than 13,000 LED lights and 900 ornaments lit up the grounds.

This was the first time the state's Christmas Tree has been lit since it was delivered to the grounds two weeks ago.