CHICAGO (CBS) — The holiday season came alive Sunday on the Near West Side.

With a flip of the switch, the Christmas spirit kicked off in Greektown. A Christmas tree was lit at the Elysian Field – a new green space at Halsted and Van Buren streets.

The Greektown Christmas Ceremony featured schoolchildren singing traditional Greek carols, visits with Santa, hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts in a heated tent, and caroling at Greektown restaurants.

Meanwhile, a new public art project is also on display in Greektown. The Greektown Karavakia display pays tribute to the longstanding Greek Christmas tradition of decorating boats for the holiday.

The 30 miniature painted boats (Καραβάκια) were all decorated by local Chicago artists and are being placed inside windows and other prominent spots at Greektown businesses.

A larger boat has also been placed next to the Christmas tree. It was painted by artist James McNeill Mesple and is anchored to the tree with a strand of lights.