SHIRLEY — The annual tradition of lighting a community Christmas tree took place at Whiteley Park on the first Sunday of Advent.

This year, the event started earlier than usual to provide time for a wonderful seasonal music performance by members of the Nashoba Valley Concert Band, and time for Todd Maki of Photo Op Photography to take pictures of families enjoying the snowy evening.

The tree was generously donated by Pacing Pine Farms, and Jim McGrath and crew once again hung the lights. The Venture Scouts provided hot chocolate and Boy Scout Troop 7 and ShirleyArts! helped fund the event.

At 5 p.m., members of the Shirley Children’s Traveling Christmas Choir performed samples from their concert, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12, at the Center Town Hall. The $5 admission will go to the Shirley Friendship Fund.

Then Santa and his elf arrived on a Shirley fire truck and Santa performed his magic to light up the tree.