A festive chill filled the air last weekend as families and town shops along bustling Elm and Main streets took part in the 11th Annual New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Holiday Stroll.

The event kicked off Friday night with the arrival of Santa Claus and live musical and dance performances from town children, a tree lighting, and town retailers and community groups welcoming visitors with cookies, popcorn, and other treats.

Children had a chance to meet Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch, and St. Aloysius Church held a living nativity at Park Street and South Avenue while adults mingled in downtown shops.

Mike Fox of New Canaan was at the event with his daughter Emily, 10, and Tom, 8, and said the stroll has become a tradition for the family.

“It’s a really great community event,” Fox said.

Among other gifts, Tom Fox said he wanted an Apple Watch but also hoped to be riding an battery powered Hoverboard after Christmas.

Emily Fox said she was hoping to get a good selection of old-fashioned books, which she prefers to e-books.

“I just like paper books,” she said.

On Saturday afternoon the event continued with visits to Santa Claus at Houlihan Lawrence on Elm Street, and live ice sculptures sponsored by the Callari Auto Group, along with a magician sponsored by Bankwell of New Canaan.

Laura Budd of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce said the event drew impressive crowds after two years when bad weather dampened the celebrations.

The strong turnout is an indication of residents’ appreciation for the downtown area, with attendees shopping and dining during the event at restaurants on Elm and other downtown streets, Budd said.

“It was really a chance for downtown New Canaan to show what they are all about and a great spirited community evening,” Budd said.

The chamber is seeking donations to the Holiday Lights Campaign through the New Canaan Charitable Foundation to help fund the purchase of energy efficient LED lights, Budd said.

The lights are currently being used on Forest Street, but the chamber is hoping to purchase enough sets of the more durable LED lights for the entire downtown display, which lights 50 trees with more than 400 strands of lights.

“We feel the holiday stroll is the best possible advertisement for the holiday lights,” Budd said. “We really want to make a purchase in the off-season to purchase new LED lights and they are being used Forest Street. We are really pleased with how they look down there.”