PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria kicked off the holiday season Friday night with people strolling around downtown.
The 22nd Annual Yule Like Peoria Holiday Walk-A-Bout event started with the lighting of trees at Peoria's Courthouse.
Then nearly 500 people went to local business for free food, drinks and entertainment, with holiday songs and kids activities.
One participant said she's been attending for years simply because of the kind holiday spirit.
"It's just neat to see all the free entertainment, enjoy the cookies, and see all the festive people. There's so much negative that goes on during Black Friday that to see everybody in the Christmas spirit, opening doors, and just being kind to everyone, it's really fun," said Freda Thompson, Bartonville Resident.
Organizers say it takes nearly an entire year to plan Yule Like Peoria, which means they'll be starting with next years event very soon.