VICTORIA -- The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria is getting into the spirit of the season with its first ever holiday lights ceremony Thursday.

The public is invited down to the hotel at 4 p.m. to gather around a tree in the hotel's main lobby.

Carolers will welcome participants before the event's emcees, CTV News Vancouver Island anchors Andrew Johnson and Amber Schinkel, will introduce the historic hotel's general manager.

After the tree is lit, attendees are invited to meet Santa, sing carols and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate as part of ongoing festivities on the hotel grounds.

The main event is scheduled to take place at 4:45 when a countdown will precede the lighting of the whole Empress building, followed by more holiday goodies and prizes.

The event is part of a fundraiser for the CFAX Santas Anonymous Toy Mountain drive, which collects unwrapped toys and monetary donations for kids in the community.