No one cried or pouted despite gray, drizzly skies Saturday morning when Santa Claus came to town.

Santa’s traditional arrival downtown just after Thanksgiving to help kick off the holiday season proved a bright day nonetheless as hundreds of youngsters and their families gathered for a chance to meet the Big Man in Red at Sherman Green’s gazebo.

“I’m thrilled that the Chamber of Commerce puts it on,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau said of the event’s annual sponsor, “and if you look around it’s just a feel-good event.”

“There’s a little something here for everyone,” he said, surrounded on the green by dozens of commercial and non-profit vendors, food, face painting and a small petting zoo area. Another highlight were the horse-and-wagon rides.

“I think it’s a great way to get the kids out and build community and start the holiday season right,” said Jackie Woods of Fairfield. “I love it … That’s why we live here.”

“I love how this really brings us into the Christmas time of year,” said Kalle Meehan, 15, one of several Fairfield Ludlowe High School students raising money through a sale of baked goods.

“It really brings everyone together,” she said. “I’ve come here since I was little.”

“We’re so excited,” said Beverly Balaz, president of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber of Commerce has been doing this for at least 15 years and it’s a great, much-anticipated community-wide event.”

Balaz noted that it was also Small Business Saturday and, she hoped, the setting in the midst of the town’s central business district would help raise awareness for local stores and restaurants.

“It’s just to remind everybody to support our local businesses and shop locally,” she said. “They’re the backbone of our community.”

Along with businesses and nonprofit booths, a cadre of volunteers were there simply to help spread holiday cheer, like Declyn Keiser. Though it was her 11th birthday, she donned an elf costume and planned to help Santa manage the throng of his fans.

“I like to see all the little kids and see how happy they all are,” she said. “They’re so happy when they get their toys.”

“What a great event,” said Girl Scout troop leader Tara Heyel, whose Scouts were painting kids’ faces for the occasion. “We’ve had a great turnout and the girls are really enjoying helping to get the kids in the spirit.”

Even one couple from Chicago, who travels to the area each holiday season to visit relatives, always makes Santa’s arrival in Farfield a priority.

“I love it,” said Louise Leonard. “We come every time we’re here for Thanksgiving. I think it’s amazing.”