By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS 13) — So many “family-friendly” events have been canceled this year. But on Friday, thousands got a special treat at Cal Expo in a drive-thru Christmas light celebration.

Holiday cheer, tidings of comfort and joy filled the outside of Cal Expo in a drive-thru wonderland of lights.

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CHP South Sacramento partnered with the sheriff’s department and firefighters bringing the Christmas spirit to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“If we can just do anything to raise money for them to make sure that these kids that are in the hospital during the holiday have a great Christmas and a great holiday season, we are going to do everything in our power to make sure they do,” said Jim Young, CHP South Sacramento Public Information Officer.

Thousands of cars lining Capital City Freeway backed all the way to downtown Sacramento waiting to get a peek.

“We are honestly blown away. I think it shows that there is a need this time of year to do something. So many things got canceled this year,” said Breanna Williams, Stewardship Coordinator, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California.

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Elsa and the Frozen characters, Spiderman, around 50 first responders and, of course, Santa stood by welcoming visitors.

The event brought the Christmas spirit in more than one way, with people opening up their wallets to support children in need.

“Every dollar that is donated goes right to patient care at our hospital. We treat kids regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Whether or not they are insured or uninsured.

“Seeing community support like this especially at Christmas time means so much to us,” Williams said.

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Velena Jones