The best kick-off to the holiday season in Portland is always the tree lighting at One City Center downtown.

Every year I tell myself I'm going to make it there on time, and every year I forget to put it in my calendar until it's too late.

So, I'm writing this to remind us both not to miss the countdown this year!

The Monument Square tree lighting doesn't just stop at lighting up a Christmas tree.

Starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, November 24, there will be family-friendly activities and live performances to keep you in the spirit as you and your crew patiently wait for the countdown. (This is usually where my friends and I find some eggnog).

Here's what it looked like last year:

This year the tree stands at 50 feet tall and will dressed with THOUSANDS of glittering lights.

This one's for the dads & bros: starting at 1 pm on a big screen outdoor television you'll find an NHL Open Air Viewing party: Bruins vs. Detroit Redwings.

This one's for the moms and daughters: starting at 2 p.m., there will be an Outdoor Winter Artisan Market put on by local Mainers until 7 p.m.

The tree lighting itself is at 6 p.m. So you want to make sure you get out there to see it lit up in all its glory. It's going to be amazing. Don't miss out on it.

Check out the full list of events here.

Who else is ready for some holiday cheer?

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Gallery Credit: Isabel Sepulveda

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