NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The City of Norfolk is kicking off the holiday season with multiple different events downtown.

"It's like kind of the epicenter of the holiday season," said Jessica Kliner, the marketing director for the Downtown Norfolk Council.

The glow from the holiday lights illuminated Granby St. and the surrounding downtown area. The life in downtown Friday night is just the beginning of what is set to be a busy weekend in Norfolk.

Saturday morning, crowds are hitting these streets for a half-marathon and 5k race leading into the 32nd annual Grand Illumination Parade at night.

All the events stacked for Saturday is a chance to showcase what Norfolk is all about.

"Norfolk is awesome. People may think it's a bad place but it's awesome," said Norfolk resident, Jade Costa.

"It's really a great opportunity for all of our business and retail downtown," said Kliner.

Paul Levine, owner of The Groove Record Shop on Granby seems to think so.

"As we see more people we see growth," said Levine.

He said events bring crowds, and crowds bring new business and more loyal customers.

"We really appreciate what the downtown Norfolk association is doing to get people down here," said Levine.

"It just brings a bunch of people together," said Costa.

If you'd like more information on events coming to downtown Norfolk, click here.