PLAINFIELD, NJ - Make sure your Christmas Eve plans include a drive through the historic neighborhood of Netherwood Heights in Plainfield, NJ. In what is one of the largest displays of luminaries in the state, homes in the Netherwood Heights Historic District will be part of a Christmas Eve luminary display that has grown over the years, encompassing this quaint hamlet of stately structures.
The annual event started in 2006, and this year will include over 4,000 luminaries that will light the meandering roads. “Preparations begin in early December. The association purchases bags and luminary candles, and Martoccia Landscape Services of Watchung, NJ graciously donates the sand each year,” notes Joe Palmer, President of the non-profit group Netherwood Heights Neighbors. “On Christmas Eve, neighbors come together to assemble the luminaries and place them in front of approximately 350 homes. Many of these homes are decorated with holiday lights and this, coupled with the luminaries, makes for a remarkable sight.”
The luminary bags will be placed from Leland to Woodland Avenues, and from Watchung Avenue to East 7th Street, and the candles will be lit at dusk.
The Netherwood Heights Historic District is named for the Netherwood Hotel, and stood at what is now the blocks bordered by Denmark Road, Park Terrace, Belvidere Avenue, Berkeley Avenue. It encompasses 99 homes dotting the winding roads believed to be the original horse paths of the hotel, which was built in 1878 when Plainfield was the last stop on the railroad.