Holiday season kicks off in West Orange

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WEST ORANGE — West Orange rang in the holidays on Dec. 2 with an all-day Holiday Open House featuring family-friendly activities and culminating in the lighting of the Township Christmas tree.

The fun began at Washington Elementary School, where West Orange High School Mountaineer Mentors and JAFROTC cadets donned wintry character costumes for the Character Pancake Breakfast. Along with Santa and Mrs. Claus, they posed for photos with families and other volunteers from Downtown West Orange, the Public Relations Commission, and the community. Breakfast was provided by Maschio’s, the school district’s food service provider.

Following breakfast, families made their way to the gym, where trains, cars, pixie sticks, arts and crafts, and curated vendors were on hand to provide entertainment in a holiday atmosphere.

The annual Trolley Tours, led by various township officials including Mayor Susan McCartney, pointed out highlights and history of the downtown area.
Activities continued in late afternoon at town hall, where a petting zoo, hot chocolate, iPad giveaways, musical performances by Vienna School of Music students, dances from Unique Performance Arts Center, train rides, and more entertained the children. At 6 p.m., McCartney and the children hit the switch to light the tree and Santa Claus made his appearance, taking up residence for visits, photos, and holiday wishes. Families lined up to meet Santa Claus.

The day was orchestrated by the township, various departments, and the West Orange School District.