A crowd gathers to watch as the Monument Square Christmas Tree is lit up in Portland on Friday, Nov. 25. Credit: CBS 13/WGME

PORTLAND, Maine — After much anticipation, the Christmas tree in Portland’s Monument Square is now merry and bright.

Hundreds of people waited for that special moment when the lights came on for the season.

This is the first time the tree lighting ceremony has been held in person since the pandemic began.

“It’s been a while! So we’re thrilled to be back in person to light the tree,” said Cary Tyson, executive director for Portland Downtown.

For the organizers, Portland Downtown, it was really exciting to have so many people pack into the square to watch it up close again.

Linda Colello said part of what she enjoys the most about it is having her grandson around to see it.

“And my family being together. That’s the most important part,” Colello said.

This tree is massive at a very impressive 40 feet tall, which is about four stories high. And, it has thousands of lights on it.

The balsam fir comes from the Nappi family in Westbrook.

The couple planted it when they built their house but never expected it to become so big.

It’s extra special for them to see this up in the square for a few reasons.

“It’s really wonderful cause we grew up here. We walked these streets for 69 and 70 years,” said Anne Nappi, who donated the tree.

And they got to share the moment with their granddaughters too.

”They live in Massachusetts,” Nappi said. “So it’s nice— they came up for the holiday and they were able to stay to put the tree on.”

The two girls were happy to help.

“It was nice and great,” said Ella Nappi, who got to turn on the lights.

”It was really pretty,” said Sofia Nappi, who also helped turn on the lights.

This year, the tree camera is up and running once again.

You can watch online at any time and listen to holiday music too. More information can be found on the Portland Downtown website.