A crew from St. Mary’s Services braved the cold, wet weather Monday to bring a little holiday cheer to downtown Vancouver.The workers spent hours stringing more than 11,000 LED lights on a tree towering over Esther Short Park in preparation for the annual community tree lighting. The crew members were hoisted to the tree’s top on a mechanical lift beginning before dawn and continued working into the afternoon.The annual tree lighting event begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Esther Short Park. Santa and his elves will arrive at 6 p.m. Starbucks will be in the park offering hot drinks during the event. Following the tree lighting, Vancouver Pops will perform at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. Last year’s tree lighting attracted about 2,000 people. The community tree will be aglow throughout the holidays. The tree lighting is just one part of the 15th annual Vancouver Rotary Foundation’s Festival of Trees. The festival displays decorated Christmas trees at Pearson Air Museum and opens Friday. The festival runs from noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.The festival will wrap up Sunday with the Hot Buttered Run and Kids Kandy Kane Race at 10 a.m. at Pearson Air Museum. So far, more than 800 people are registered to run.For additional information about the festival, visit http://www.rotaryfestivaloftrees.org.