PEORIA Ill. (WMBD)–The Peoria Riverfront is getting into the holiday spirit with its first “Christmas in the Village” event.

Hundreds gathered at the museum Saturday afternoon where they could enjoy carriage rides, food trucks, hot chocolate, carolers, and pictures with Santa Claus.

All proceeds from the event go to the Every Student Initiative which funds free trips to the museum for Central Illinois students and grants a free pass for a family member.

Allison Unkovich helped set the event up and she said Christmas in the Village is an excellent way to kick off the holiday season while supporting the youth.

“It’s awesome to see the community coming together and having some fun on Saturday to kick off the Christmas season,” said Unkovich.

Unkovich said the event was a big success and they plan on making this an annual experience.