CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers kicked off the holiday season with the organization's 2nd annual tree lighting celebration on Tuesday night.
More than 6,000 people attended the event outside Bank of America Stadium, which featured performances by the Fort Mill (S.C.) High School choir and Hickory (N.C.) High School orchestra and appearances by Sir Purr, TopCats, PurrCussion, Black & Blue Crew and Santa Claus.
Carolina Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson and his wife, Rosalind, capped the evening by lighting the tree, a 58-foot Norway Spruce tree from Newland, N.C., with 48,600 lights.
"It's a great thing for the whole community," linebacker Shaq Thompson said. "It's a great event that Mr. Richardson puts on for everybody to welcome the community and show appreciation that we love them and they love us."
View photos from the 2nd annual Carolina Panthers Tree Lighting.