WEST ORANGE, NJ — The 2020 Essex County Holiday Lights Spectacular at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo has been canceled due to ongoing fear of COVID-19.

 “Because of the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Holiday Lights Spectacular,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. said. “The lights show has become a much-anticipated holiday tradition for tens of thousands of people. However, with the number of positive cases growing and a new wave of the virus upon us, we decided it was not in the best interest of public health to hold this year’s extravaganza."

The only holiday-themed light display will be located at the entrance to the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo complex on Northfield Avenue. Motorists will be able to see the display as they drive by the complex.

In past years, visitors to the Holiday Lights Spectacular were asked to bring non-perishable food items to Turtle Back Zoo, which were donated to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Since food drive will not take place, DiVincenzo encouraged residents to instead make donations to their local food pantry or the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.