Thousands watch during the annual christmas tree lighting with fireworks and artificial snow at the Americana at Brand on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.

Thousands watch during the annual christmas tree lighting with fireworks and artificial snow at the Americana at Brand on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (Libby Cline, for Times Community News / November 19, 2012)

It’s officially Christmas time at the Americana at Brand, where on Sunday night the switch was flipped on thousands of lights covering the giant white fir towering over the outdoor shopping mall.

The spectacle -- accompanied by dancing snowmen, fireworks, “flying” reindeer -- wowed a crowd that at one point apparently reached capacity, with some people reporting on Twitter that they had been turned away after the fire marshal cut the inflow of people.

The more than 100-foot-tall white fir Christmas tree, which rolled into the Americana prior to Halloween, was covered with thousands of lights and ornaments for the “Cirque du Santa” lighting ceremony, with acrobatics provided by  Zen Arts.

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News

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