CRANFORD - The beginning of February saw a blizzard that dumped more than 18 inches of snow on central New Jersey, giving Cranford’s Centennial Village Group (CVG) the opportunity to host its first ever Snowman Competition.

From February 2-7, members of the community were invited to build snowmen and submit them to the CVG, resulting in sixty five entries. The top two winners were Diane Merkel with a submission of a snow Elsa, and the Grosholz family, who created Olaf. They each received $100 of Centennial bucks to be used at any of the local shops in the Centennial Village, generously donated by Kiamie Realty. Additional winners included Melissa Marquis with a submission of The Nerd, and the Freez-Krobolth family who built the Flowering Snow Lady. Both received $50 of Centennial bucks donated by CVG.

With the pandemic causing the group to cancel its two main annual events last year - a 5K race and Music Fest - the members searched for another way to host a fun, family-friendly activity. The blizzard provided an opportunity to do so, while also supporting local businesses at the same time.

The Centennial Village Group is a non-profit group of volunteers working to revitalize and beautify the Centennial Avenue area of Cranford. If you are interested in learning more, donating to, or joining the group, email