BOSTON (CBS) — Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance at the annual “Christmas In the City” event, held for over 4,500 homeless children Sunday at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport District.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh were also there to greet the children who received Christmas gifts at the “Winter Wonderland”-themed gathering.

A cast of characters greeted the children as they walked through a tunnel and a flurry of snow.

There was live music, plenty of food and even pony rides.

“When they opened the doors, there are so many rides. She just can’t believe it. She knows it’s Christmas when she comes to this event now. So I appreciate it so much,” one mother said about her daughter.

The event started 28 years ago and has grown exponentially — with the help of 4,000 volunteers.

“With 165 children we found and now with volunteers, we are 100-percent volunteers. It has just grown beyond our wildest dreams. It is just unbelievable,” event co-founder Jake Kennedy said.

A little girl enters "Christmas In The City" at  the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Sunday. (WBZ-TV)

A little girl enters “Christmas In The City” at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Sunday. (WBZ-TV)

“Christmas In The City” has evolved into an organization that helps families transition from homelessness to independent living.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

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