BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ – The 16th Annual Holiday Festival at Lord Stirling Stable, presented by the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable (FLSS) organization, is scheduled for next weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7. The Festival again will take place at the Somerset County Park Commission's stable at 256 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge. 

Horse shows, hayrides, holiday shopping opportunities, pony rides and more will be offered at the annual event. Admission and parking are free, thanks to the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable. The public is asked to bring a non-perishable food donation for Somerset County's food bank, however. 

Children who attend can enjoy hayrides through the woods to see Santa at his house (weather permitting). Santa’s Workshop will be open for games, craft projects, food, and more. Free pony rides will be available at various times throughout the Festival.

Adults can enjoy exploring the offerings at the annual Silent Auction, which benefits the Lord Stirling School Horse Retirement Fund, another FLSS initiative. Themed gift baskets, specialty items, and gift certificates for local businesses will be offered for bidding. The FLSS gift shop will offer unique items for purchase.

In conjunction with the festivities, guests are invited to enjoy the Winter Holiday Horse Shows that provide Lord Stirling students the opportunity to showcase the horsemanship skills they have learned in class. Horse shows begin at 9 a.m. each day. The Adult Drill Team performs on Saturday and the Junior Drill Team is featured on Sunday, both during the lunch break.

Rebel the Pony has joined the team this year by securing a position as one of Santa’s elves. He is asking participants and visitors to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to The Food Bank Network of Somerset County. Santa is providing a special sack to collect the items, which will certainly brighten holiday dinners for families in need.

Spectators may enjoy the horse shows from the climate controlled viewing area. The horse shows are made possible in part by the sponsorship of Marcello’s II Restaurant & Pizzeria located at 260 Main Ave. in Stirling. Admission and parking are free.

Friends of Lord Stirling Stable is a 501(c) (3) organization of youth and adult volunteers working with the Somerset County Park Commission to support the activities of Lord Stirling Stable through contribution of ideas, time, and revenue. More information about The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable and their events may be found at www.flssnj.org.

Information about other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found online at www.somersetcountyparks.org.