Holiday Events Help Spread Christmas Cheer

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AREA – Christmas is getting closer, and many local communities are holding events to help residents get into the holiday spirit. Here is a rundown of some of the ones coming up this week:

CARTERET: Mayor Dan Reiman’s Holiday Festival at Carteret Park will be held on Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10 from 5-8 p.m. each night. The borough’s tree lighting ceremony will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and there will be live holiday music from 5:30-7 p.m. On both days, there will be horse and buggy rides, and Santa Claus will be on hand to take photos with children. (Bring your camera).

CLARK: There’s still time to enter Clark Recreation’s holiday home decorating contest – the deadline is Monday, Dec. 12. A list of participating homes will be available from the recreation office by Friday, Dec. 16. Submit your vote for the best one by emailing or call 1-732-428-8400. Votes must be cast by Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Santa Claus will make an appearance at O’Johnnie’s Hallmark Shop at 170 Westfield Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Children can also pick up entry forms for the store’s free coloring contest.

EDISON: Santa Paws, sponsored by J.P. Stevens for Animal Welfare to raise money in support of homeless animals at the Edison Animal Shelter, offers families the opportunity to get their pets in the photo with Santa Claus. The price for one photo is $9. Santa Paws will be held at the Minnie Veal Community Center, 1070 Grove Avenue, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Dec. 10.

ELIZABETH: On Saturday, Dec. 10, Elizabeth families are invited to Winterfest 2011 at the AMC Theatre at Jersey Gardens Mall. There will be a family movie, a toy give-away and a reception with Santa Claus. Proof of residency is required; for more information, call the Elizabeth Development Company at 1-908-289-0262.

The 6th Ward Holiday Tree Lighting is on Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 6-8 p.m. at a location to be determined. Call 1-908-316-0164 for more information.

Mayor Chris Bollwage and Councilman Carlos Cedeno are scheduled to attend the 4th Ward Holiday Tree Lighting on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. in L. Ron Hubbard Park at the intersection of Salem Avenue and North Broad Street. There will be caroling, music and a visit from Santa. All are invited to Nicholas Murray Butler School #23 at 501 Union Avenue at 7 p.m. for food and additional activities. For more information, call 1-908-531-3043.

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will lead the Third Ward Christmas Tree Lighting at Summit Road and Park Avenue at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15. For more information, call 1-908-820-4124.

LINDEN: Mystic Vision Players will perform a Yuletide Concert at the Reformed Church of Linden at 600 North Wood Avenue on Sunday, Dec. 18. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door.

PERTH AMBOY: The Proprietary House Museum, 149 Kearny Avenue will hold a free open house event on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 1 p.m. The museum gift shop will be open and there will be caroling and light refreshments.

RAHWAY: The Union County Performing Arts Center will host two holiday shows. Enjoy A Rockin’ Holiday Celebration starring Bobby Rydell, Jay Siegel & The Tokens, The Chantels and more on Friday, Dec. 9. Tickets are $38-$58. The Orchestra of St. Peter By The Sea will return for its annual holiday spectacular on Saturday, Dec. 10. Tickets are $27. To purchase tickets, call 1-732-499-8226.

The Merchants and Drovers Museum Association will host holiday candlelight evening tours of the 215-year-old tavern building located on the corner of St. Georges and Westfield avenues in Rahway on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 6-9 p.m. Tours are $8 for members and $10 for non-members; the price includes refreshments. For more information, call 1-732-381-0441.

SOUTH AMBOY: Residents can take trolley tours of the homes participating in South Amboy’s home decorating contest on Thursday, Dec. 15, starting at 7 p.m. Call the recreation office at 1-732-316-8212 to sign up or for more information.

The Saint Mary Choral Society & Chamber Orchestra will present Handel’s Messiah at St. Mary Church, 256 August Street, South Amboy on Saturday, Dec. 17. Suggested donation is $10. For information, call 1-732-721-0179 or 1-732-261-8979.

WOODBRIDGE: Children can visit Santa Claus at Parker Press, 400 Rahway Avenue, on Saturday Dec. 10 from 10– 11:30 a.m. Walgreens of Woodbridge will give guests a complimentary 4×6 picture.

Colonia High School will host a Winter Wonderland event for families on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Admission is $6 per child, which includes 10 activity tickets. There will be refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus.

The Barron Arts Center’s annual train show exhibit remains on display weekdays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and weekends from 2-4 p.m. at 582 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

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