SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The weather outside was chilly, but the smiles were delightful at the borough's annual tree lighting sponsored by the Spotswood Recreation Department on Saturday. After last December's cancellation of the event, residents were happy Mother Nature cooperated with the fun, family-friendly evening of entertainment that included a visit from the big guy in red courtesy of the Spotswood Fire Department.
The Spotswood High School Troupers got the entertainment started by performing some vocal selections before the Spotswood High School Festivus Brass Choir took the stage in front of the borough's Municipal Complex. The Festivus Brass Choir performed along with Spotswood High School Band Director Sarah Carino-Koza. The members included Spotswood High School student musicians Lex Demarest, Jada Fenner, Shannon Longmore, Ava Perez, Skylar Provell, Jon Wasserman, Bobby Wehrle and Gabby Zeron.
"The Festivus Brass Choir has played at the Spotswood Tree Lighting as far back as at least 2003, which is the year before I began teaching at Spotswood High School," Carino-Koza said. "Back then, it was held at the Firemen's Statue by the intersection of Main Street and Snowhill Street and we would set up in front of the old RiteAid. It's been lovely to see how the event has evolved and grown into a true community celebration of the holidays and we're appreciative that the Recreation Department continues to include us!"
Spotswood resident Krista Masucci took the stage next, singing holiday selections for the growing crowd. Masucci also sang the national anthem. The Schoenly School Chorus wowed the crowd with their cuteness as a spirited group of first graders sang holiday songs under the direction of Schoenly and Appleby music teacher Lauren Shaughnessy.
The evening also included holiday words from Spotswood Mayor Ed Seely and recognition for the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division winning Spotswood High School boys varsity soccer team. Members of the team were honored along with their head coach Spotswood High School math teacher Jeff Marvinny for their championship season.
Mrs. Claus was on hand to receive letters to her husband while residents donated toys to Spotswood High School's Jenna's Drive and non-perishable food items for the Alice's CUP food pantry.
Finally, the big moment arrived and the borough tree was lit by former Spotswood Borough Councilwoman Marge Drozd and her husband Gary. Santa capped off the evening by handing out candy canes to the borough's youngest residents.
If anyone missed Santa on Saturday, he will be back next weekend. The Spotswood Fire Department will be driving him around the borough beginning at 9 a.m. on December 14. So listen for the sirens and head to the nearest fire hydrant to say hi to Santa before he packs up his sleigh and heads out on December 24.