Champs-Elysees switches on its Christmas lights

The Champs-Elysees in Paris has turned on its Christmas lights.

Four hundred trees along a more than 2-kilometer stretch of the thoroughfare were illuminated with thousands of sparkling colored lights on Sunday ahead of the holiday season.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and others took part in the annual lighting ceremony. Unlike last year, when few people could be seen due to coronavirus restrictions, the area was crowded with residents and tourists.

A 23-year-old college student said that because there were no events like this last year, the lights made her all the happier.
A worker at a souvenir shop on the Champs-Elysees expressed hope that the illuminations would bring many people back to the area.

But some people in the restaurant industry were more pessimistic, saying they don't expect the number of customers to return to the level before the pandemic for the time being.

The number of daily coronavirus cases in France has been exceeding 10,000 this month. The virus is quickly spreading in nearby countries as well, including Germany and the Netherlands.

The Christmas illuminations will continue until January 9.