FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Christmas has arrived in the Borough of Florham Park, and it started at the Community Center with the annual tree lighting ceremony. This year, about 200 to 300 kids and parents attended the event that has been organized by the Florham Park Recreation Department. A trail of lit candles lined the streets of the municipal complex as cars rode in.

“We’re very proud to host the tree lighting,” said John Timmons, who has been the recreation director for the past five years.  “It’s an ongoing tradition and we love how the young kids in town get excited for this holiday kick-off.”

Aside from the tree lighting, children and adults were treated to cookies and brownies and hot chocolate, as well as musical entertainment of all the classic Christmas tunes, performed by NYC-based singing group Manhattan Holiday Carolers.

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“This is a fabulous event with a ton of community spirit,” said borough resident Linda Guerain, who has been attending the tree lighting with family for as long as the event has been held in its 25 years.  “My grandson A.J. looks forward to it and all the cookies!”

Children are invited to pull the switch to the main tree’s lighting and this year, seven-year-old Charlotte Renzi and four-year-old Vanessa Waldron, both from Florham Park, got the honors.  “The event’s always fun,” said Vanessa.  “I like turning on the lights and the singers.”

Vanessa’s father Barry was happy to see his daughter have such fun.  “It’s awesome to see her participate in the lighting,” said Waldron.  “This lighting is well done by recreation and it’s very Christmas-y"

Once the lighting was done, a special treat waited for the kids inside the Community Center: Santa Claus! A long line was seen in and out of the building for the rest of the evening.

“It’s not too cold, but not too warm tonight,” said Mayor Mark Taylor, who attended the ceremony with several governing body members.  “We like to thank our singers. We have to thank John Timmons who handles all our recreation stuff. We have a couple of our DPW workers, and we want to thank them for putting up all the lights and the candles as you came into the borough complex. Happy Holidays to everybody!”

Though the tree lighting is over, there are other fun holiday events happening in Florham Park. On December 13th, a vendor sale will also be held at the community center by the Parent Teacher Organization. On December 14th, the Florham Park/East Hanover Football Club will hold a toy drive at 11:00 a.m., at the Florham Park Elm Street Field Complex. Furthermore, the local police department will be having their own toy drive from now until Christmas Day.

The tree lighting ceremony was sponsored by Regal Bank.

To learn more about the Florham Park Recreation Department, visit the municipal website at http://www.fpboro.net/recreation/#.