Ready or not, the Christmas season is upon us, and tonight, downtown Belize City looks the part.

That's because the towering Bowen and Bowen Christmas Tree was lit up two hours ago.

7News caught up with the Belize City Mayor before the lighting and he told us that the Bowen Group of Companies has a surprise this year:

Mayor Darrell Bradley
"There is a new program that has been designed by the Bowen and Bowen group. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag, it's supposed to be very novel - it's something that they do all throughout the world and it's the first time that its being done in Belize. This is always an exciting time for the City Council - we partnered with Bowen & Bowen now for several years and we also have a lot of other sponsors and its really like an electrifying event. Young people are out here, the Bowen group has been out here since morning putting up the tree, setting up everything. The City Council staff has been out here ensuring traffic management, security, ensuring that all the goodies and gifts have been properly organized and are going to be distributed properly."

"It's just really like an exciting time to really mark the Christmas season. Everybody seems to be in very good spirit. We've gotten a lot of support and people really just look at this event as being the marker for the Christmas season. I know of course business men and women would be happy because more people would be out here shopping and things like that but really it's just a time for us to come together as a community and just to enjoy the warmth and love of the Christmas season."

"I just really want to give a big shout out to the Bowen group and Coca Cola and other sponsors including Telemedia - the business community has really come out - Bowen and Bowen has really used this as being one of their signature event for the year."

Channel 7