Arts & Entertainment

Wantage Celebrates Its Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

The Book Fair Takes Over  Credits: Taylor Turkington
Unique Crafts are Being Sold Credits: Taylor Turkington
Diane Lungaro Helps Out at the Fair Credits: Taylor Turkington
Hundreds of Books Cover the Gymnasium Credits: Taylor Turkington
People Crowd Outisde And Wait for Santa Credits: Taylor Turkington
Chamber Singers Sing for the Crowd Credits: Taylor Turkington
Santa's Firetruck Speeds Through the Street Credits: Taylor Turkington
Santa Lights Up the Tree Credits: Taylor Turkington
Santa Claus. Credits: Taylor Turkington
The Lit Up Firetruck Credits: Taylor Turkington
Santa Waits for Children  Credits: Taylor Turkington
Young Kids Sit on Santa's Lap Credits: Taylor Turkington
Kids Read Santa their Christmas Lists Credits: Taylor Turkington
Sweets Are Being Sold Credits: Taylor Turkington
People Line Up to Meet Santa Credits: Taylor Turkington
Notebook Purses Credits: Taylor Turkington
Candy Sleds Credits: Taylor Turkington
The Tree Lights Up the Night Credits: Taylor Turkington

WANTAGE TOWNSHIP, NJ - On Friday, November 30, kids of all ages from Wantage waited for the arrival for the one and only Santa Claus to commence the township’s annual Christmas tree lighting.

Upon his arrival guests were entertained by the high school’s chamber singers, and amused by the many crafts for sale inside the school.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., the gymnasium of Wantage School opened its door for all to enter and participate in the annual Christmas event. The gym was occupied from wall to wall with hundreds of books of all genres for sale. From Clifford the Big Red Dog to the Hunger Games trilogy, every book one could think of was available for sale at the book fair.

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“It’s a very good turn out and I appreciate the support from everyone that showed up,” Diane Lungaro the librarian from Sussex Middle School told The Alternative Press about the occasion.

Right outside the gym, very original constructed crafts were selling very rapidly. Attendees appeared amazed to see all the creative pieces of art for sale. Such crafts included jewelry, gloves, purses made from notebooks, candy stacked into the shape of sleds, and candles make with candy canes.

What looked even more delectable than the merchandise were the homemade goods available at the bake sale. Run by students attending Wantage school, goodies and sweets were offered and could not be turned away by the guests. Homemade cookies, cupcakes, muffins, popcorn, and chocolate covered pretzels covered the room with their savory smells.

At around 7:30 p.m. when the night had completely taken over, the crowd gathered around the immense and soon-to-be lighted tree outside of the school, and patiently waited for Santa Claus to arrive.

To divert the audience in the spare time,chamber singers put on a spectacular performance of classic Christmas carols as well as the national anthem to entertain all waiting in the cold. But first, came a few words from Dr. Tomas King, the school’s superintendent and some announcements by the mayor of Wantage Township, Bill Gaechter, who gave a special thanks to the town’s fire department, board of education, and the school district for letting them use the hurricane surviving tree for the lighting.

“Happy Merry Christmas!” exclaimed Little Mister Wantage 2012, Hunter Baker.

Everyone turned their heads toward the police sirens speeding down the highwa,y and pulling into the parking lot. Following the police cars on a lit up fire truck was Santa Claus, making every child scream and run towards the truck with excitement.

Hopping off of the truck, Santa made his was to the switch to light up the enormous tree. The switched was flipped and everyone cheered in excitement as the night sky was lit up in rainbow colors.

Afterwards, every child headed back inside the school building to get their chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their Christmas wishes. So many children wanted their opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap that the line wrapped around the book stands in the gymnasium and nearly headed out the door.

The annual event turned out to be a fun night leaving everyone excited to attend again the following year.


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