BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- Bloomfield celebrated the start of the holiday season Monday night with a lighting of the tree that stands outside of the municipal building accompanied by synthetic ice skating, Christmas carolers, movies projected on a large screen and a visit from Santa Clause. 

Carols were sung by the choir from St. Thomas the Apostle School and Bloomfield Boy and Girl Scouts. 

Mayor Michael Venezia and the township council joined hundreds of residents for the countdown to the lighting. 

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“It was amazing to see so many excited kids and families attend our annual tree lighting,” Venezia said in a statement. “With our new synthetic ice skating rink, Municipal Plaza turned into a mini Rockefeller Center. This is just the start of the festive activities and events planned for our residents this holiday season.” 

After the tree was lit, members of the Bengals Jr. seventh grade B Squad football and cheerleading teams were recognized for their successful 2019 seasons.   

Coming from an 0-8 season in 2018, the football team defeated Chatham 28-21 on November 16 to become Suburban Youth Football League Super Bowl champions. 

“At the start of the season, I told them ‘I only want you to remember one thing about last year -- how it felt every time you walked off the field,’” Head Coach Don Coltenback said in an interview with TAPinto Bloomfield. “I told them to forget everything else because we were moving on. I said, ‘you have to trust me and you have to believe.’” 

The cheerleaders supported the football team at each of the ten games of their 7-2-1 season. 

“I really believe that they just bought into the idea that they could do it,” Coltenback added. “They’ve always had some talent and maybe some kids mature a little bit as they hit seventh grade physically as well as mentally, but they really bought into believing as a team that we could do it.”