Preparations are made for Christmas festivities in downtown Roanoke

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ROANOKE, Va. Preparations are underway for the 34th annual Dickens of a Christmas festivities in Roanoke.

Photo: Jill Wellington

There will be a different event on the first three Fridays of this month. Tomorrow night is their annual tree lighting downtown.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend these events, which could give a boost to nearby businesses.

"Lots of people get their holiday shopping done," said Jaime Clark with Downtown Roanoke Inc. "We have a ton of vendors that come into Dickens and sell various handmade items and tons of stuff and our restaurants stay really busy so it's a huge festival for downtown Roanoke."

The annual Dickens of a Christmas parade will take place next Friday.