Arts & Entertainment

Preparations Under Way for 12th Annual Holiday Festival in Clark


CLARK, NJ - With Thanksgiving just days away, thoughts naturally turn to the upcoming December holidays. For Clark Recreation Director Ralph Bernardo, the thinking, and planning, began months ago. This coming Sunday, Nov. 29, will mark Clark’s 12th annual Holiday Winter Festival. From 3 p.m. until 6 p.m, the Clark Municipal Building and recreation center on Westfield Avenue will be transformed into a winter wonderland

“This is the one time of the year that the whole community can come together and enjoy the festivities of the holidays,” Bernardo said.

Bernardo coordinates myriad activities, and virtually no aspect of the season is left out of the celebration. A menorah will be lit in recognition of Hanukkah, which starts this year on the evening of Dec. 6. A crèche is prominently placed on the front lawn. Festively decorated trees will line the halls inside. Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, toy soldiers.....the list is endless and, as Bernardo said, there is something for everyone.

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  • Hay rides 
  • Covered wagon
  • Buggy rides 
  • Holiday Characters
  • Train ride
  • Candyland obstacle course
  • Live band 
  • Pony rides
  • Petting zoo
  • Santa pictures
  • ALJ marching band - 4 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. cafeteria
  • Henley choir - 4:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. back gym
  • Kumpf choir  -  4:30 p.m.  - 4:45 p.m. back gym
  • ALJ choir - 4:45 p.m. - 5 p.m. back gym
  • Sal’s hot dogs (vendor, fee applies)
  • Sweets & Treats (while supplies last):  sugar doughnuts, pretzels, jelly apples, cider, coffee, hot chocolate
  • Friendly’s ice cream samples
  • Free Santa hats
  • Festival of trees
  • Tree lighting at 5:55 p.m.

The event is free, Bernardo said, privately funded and made possible by the very generous contributions of township service organizations and businesses.

Cub Scout Pack 145 will accept “Toys for Tots” donations of unwrapped new toys.

And at the very end, after the last horse-drawn hay ride, the last photo with Santa, the last lick of a candy cane, Mayor Sal Bonaccorso will light the township’s Christmas tree as snow gently falls to complete the scene.  And if Mother Nature doesn't provide the snow? No worries. Bernardo, who somehow seems to think of everything, has taken care of that. The snow machines are at the ready.

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