FORT WORTH -- "We all get excited! Thanksgiving we [were] all talking about it, planning on it," Cesily Shaw said.
She was talking about the annual Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth. With an expected crowd of 100,000 Friday night, people stood shoulder-to-shoulder, packing in wherever there was space.
"You have to come early, otherwise you're having to stand on your tiptoes and put the kids on your shoulders," Andrea Shaw said.
The Shaw's should know -- it's a family tradition. They've attended for 26 years, starting the year Andrea was born.
Reserved seating was available for $7 a seat, and well worth it for the six members of the Paul family.
"When you have six people, six people that are all together, same last name, you know it's a family tradition," said event employee Judy Jackson.
Stores along the parade route took advantage of the foot traffic outside their windows.
"We definitely did some markdowns just for the Black Friday," said Mary Brannon, of Pappagallo Classiques.
Isaiah Alvarado watched through a pair of light-up sunglasses. When the Parade of Lights finally began, Isaiah and thousands of others were not disappointed.
"Awesome!" the happy seven year old said. "Look at that car! It's all covered in lights!"
More than a half-million lights and over 100 parade entries floated along an expanded route and it all ended with the lighting of the tree in Sundance Square, which marks the official start to Christmas.
"I love this day!" Alvarado exclaimed. "I want to come back tomorrow!"