Town kicks off the season with lights, song and Santa

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BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield had its annual Town Hall holiday tree lighting Monday night, Dec. 3, and it was an event that combined the old and the new. Always welcomed, the Bloomfield High School Choir sang, as did Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts when introduced by Recreation Department Director Michael Sceurman. Sceurman provided the crowd with bulletins of Santa Claus’ whereabouts, but how Boss Kringle would arrive, he did not say. Cookies and hot chocolate were waiting in the meantime.

“We got lucky with the weather,” said Mayor Michael Venezia at the podium, reminding the audience that it had rained the previous two years.
There was something new in the sound of a buzz saw as an ice sculptor worked on a creation near one of two new blue spruces. These holiday trees, replacing the previous ones just last month are dubbed “Fat Alberts,” were adorned with lights. And resting on the Town Hall steps were two candelabrum, a menorah, for people celebrating Hanukkah; and a kinara, for those observing Kwanzaa. Rabbi Martin Katz, from Temple Ner Tamid, sang a lovely prayer. That was new to the event.

Bloomfield Councilwoman Nina Davis spoke and said she loved how Bloomfield residents gave back to their community, noting that the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service would be entering its fifth year in January. Davis helped to initiate the event whereby residents provide a service to the community. She said giving of oneself reaffirms a person’s basic values.

Davis announced a food drive by the MLK Day of Service Committee and its effort to raise $5,000 to make 1,000 hygiene bags. Foods will be collected at firehouses, the Bloomfield Public Library and the Civic Center.

Sceurman then alerted the crowd that the moment was almost upon them.
“Don’t tackle Santa,” he warned and began a countdown from 20.

Sirens started to wail and making a right hand turn into Municipal Plaza from Bloomfield Avenue were two police motorcycles followed by a fire engine and inside the cab Santa himself.