ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud Hospital kicked off the Christmas season tonight with their annual festival of lights.

Hundreds came out to partake in the festivities that included a live nativity scene and horse trolley rides.

Hospital president Craig Broman says the event gives the hospital a chance to connect with the community.

"It's just one of the traditions of St. Cloud Hospital - a way in which we can give back to the community," Broman says.

"[We] invite the community on our campus to enjoy the wonderful season of Christmas."

Broman says he was happy that the weather was more accommodating this year.

"I think [the temperature last year] was close to 10 degress below zero," Broman says.

"So we're very fortunate to have the weather this year."

Broman says his favorite part of the event is seeing kids and their families come out and show Christmas spirit.

"What really makes it enjoyable is seeing all the young families and the kids and being able to see the excitement in their faces," Broman says.

"Of course the cookies a