SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- They're baaa-ck! 

Holiday animals returned to the Hedge Property at the Scotch Plains Municipal Building on Saturday, Dec. 17. 

The tradition dates back well over 70 years in Scotch Plains Township, which funded the display for many years until 5 or 6 years ago. For years, the sheep, goats and other beasts were provided by the Terry Family of the Terry Lou Zoo, according to the Blue Hills Gazette. Years later, when the township opted not to continue funding the display, former Mayor Joan Papen vowed to keep the tradition going and solicited private donations in order to pay for the animals for the holiday season.

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"Joan worked closely with me to keep the tradition going," said Scotch Plains Building/Zoning Official Bob La Costa, who vowed to keep the tradition going after Joan passed away a few years ago.

La Costa continued the tradition of getting the animals through private donations to continue Joan's request. For the last few years, he has successfully solicited donations to continuing to bring the animals back to Scotch Plains. It has been a labor of love for La Costa, who once had to chase an escaped llama -- which was staring into a window of the Stage House -- back to the display area.

Shown in the picture are Bob and Marion Roberts from Scotch Plains who have been long time supporters for many years. They offer and volunteer their time and efforts to feed and clean-up for the animals twice a day while the animals are here for the Holiday.The display will remain in Scotch Plains until December 26. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.