It was a chilly night in Grain Valley, but Armstrong Park was packed with parents and kids eager to see Santa, hear a little Christmas music and maybe enjoy some hot chocolate.

The city’s Holiday Festival has been held for longer than anyone around City Hall could remember, so Mayor Mike Todd said, OK, let’s call it the 126th. Then in a minute for two, the crowded counted down, and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree was lit for the season.

Fifth graders sang “Jingle Bells,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and other favorites. Meanwhile, children lined up for Santa and Mrs. Claus and for Frosty and Rudolph. Some sat on hay bales for an outdoor screening of “The Polar Express” with Tom Hanks. Others were perfectly happy to run for the park’s swings.

Mayor Todd said it’s good “just seeing everyone come out, seeing them turn the lights on.”