SPARTA, NJ – Families turned out to Sparta Middle School on Saturday for the Winter Festival offered by the Sparta Recreation Committee and the Sparta Kiwanis.  Between 550 and 600 people attended, Sparta Township Manager Bill Close reported at the township council meeting on Tuesday.

Children of all ages played carnival games, had face painting and crafts, bounce house and obstacle course, broom ball sponsored by Skylands Ice World and demonstrations by local businesses.  Parents got a respite from the unpredictable winter weather, with the children entertained and running around.

More than 100 volunteers, including Sparta Middle School Builder's Club students, made the day fun for all who attended, according to Close.

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"The students are amazing," Councilman Gil Gibbs said.  "They were there all day working with the children."

The attendees donated 17 boxes of food and $85 cash for the Sparta Ecumenical Food Pantry. 

Later in the evening more than 90 adults attended the Wine and Beer tasting at the Sparta Library, organized by the same folks.