A crowd of about 2,500 people attended Christmas on the Square Thursday night in downtown Waynesville.

Tim Berrier, president of the Waynesville Downtown Business Association, said that about 50 vendors, including several area churches, had booths at the festival. In addition, about 30 businesses in downtown Waynesville stayed open for the event, which ran from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

“About 85 percent of the stuff here tonight is free,” said Berrier, who, along with seven other people, helped organize the event. Hot dogs, hot chocolate and chili were some of the free items.

Santa Claus was available at Waynesville Security Bank to visit with children, and hay rides, train rides, puppet shows, caroling and coach rides were also provided throughout the evening. A food court was set up on the new Waynesville parking lot next to the license bureau building.

Christmas on the Square has been held since 1998, but this is the first year the Downtown Business Association has organized it.