PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — It’s beginning to look like Christmas in downtown Panama City.

City workers put up the 30-foot-tall Christmas tree on Thursday, but not at city hall. This year it’s located a block away in front of the Center for the Arts at 4th and Harrison.

City officials said that is the true heart of downtown Panama City and will hopefully attract more traffic for businesses. The official tree lighting ceremony will take place on December 1, with hot chocolate, carriage rides, and a possible visit from Santa Claus.

Harrison Avenue construction will not interfere with photo ops around the tree.

“Given where it’s located this year, I think it’s even more special because it kind of just opens up our community back because it’s been shut down and people have been missing that, so if you date back five years ago from the hurricane and then the pandemic, then the construction, this is kind of like the reopening, if you would, of the downtown community,” Panama City Quality of Life Director Keith Mefford said.

The tree will overlook the annual Christmas parade the next day, December 2nd. Click here for more information.