Beary Merry Christmas kicks off the holiday season in New Bern

(Photo: Matt Bylis)

NEW BERN, Craven County - Beary Merry Christmas, New Bern's month-long Christmas celebration, kicks off today with the city's signature "Light Up the Season" event.

The event began with the downtown open house Friday morning with games, crafts, performers and more located in Bear Plaza. The 200 block of Middle Street closed at 4 p.m. on Friday with thousands enjoying festivities such as arts and crafts starting earlier.

Santa arrived around 5:30 p.m. and people were allowed to get pictures with him. He rode in aboard a fire truck to kick off the events.

Shops downtown also stayed open Friday night and will do the same Saturday, when the official tree lighting is held.

Click here to see the schedule on the site's web page or click here to go to its Facebook page.