December 7, 2013 at 11:42 PM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Christmas Tree was lit at Township Hall this evening as residents sipped hot chocolate, sang holiday songs, and awaited a visit from Santa.
The Annual Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree Lighting capped off a day-long series of events across the township, which included breakfast with Santa at Our Lady of Lourdes; pet photos with Santa at the Community House; kid photos with Santa at Supreme Bakery, trolley tours from the Community House, featuring historic holiday chats with Joe Fagan; crafts for Kids at the Valley Substation; and holiday book readings for children at the West Orange Public Library.
The tree-lighting featured a petting zoo, a Kwaanza booth manned by members of the West Orange African Heritage Organization, musical performances from West Orange High School musicians under the direction of Lew Kelly, and the West Orange Boys soccer state champions singing carols and lighting the tree after Mayor Robert Parisi's countdown with the kids.
Santa then made his appearance and visited with children in his workshop (council chambers).
The annual tree-lighting is a long-standing township tradition that the children of West Orange look forward to each year. The downtown West Orange corridor is adorned with festive illuminated snowflakes and Township Hall looks like a Currier and Ives photo replete with lights, bows, wreaths, tree, creche and the township menorah. The holidays have most decidedly arrived in West Orange.