SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights turned on at Temple Square and throughout downtown on Friday, a seasonal tradition that brings visitors from every corner of the world.

Volunteers and official groundskeepers began stringing the colorful lights in August and those lights are expected to beam brightly every evening, from dusk to 10 p.m., until New Year's Day, and then the dismantling will begin. It usually takes until March to put it all away.

But Zach Hansen, of Boise, Idaho, said the months spent decorating are certainly worthwhile.

"It's pretty amazing," he said.

Throughout the Christmas season, various concerts and musical productions will accompany the lights at Temple Square, providing unique experiences for all who visit. The nearby Gallivan Plaza is also adorned with lights, and offers ice skating nightly on a newly renovated ice rink.