SPARTA, NJ – Councilman Gil Gibbs thanked the community volunteers for their support of the Visit with Santa that was held at the Pavilion at Station Park on Saturday, Dec 6.

It was a busy and rainy day for Sparta but that did not deter more than 100 families from attending.  Gibbs said more than 200 children had their picture taken with the man in the red suit.  Those attending also enjoyed hot chocolate and popcorn. 

Music was provided by students from the award winning Sparta High School Marching Band.  Several students and teachers from the Sparta Middle School Community Service Club volunteered as elves.  Students Daniel Devine, Erin Finnegan, Fernando Govez, Natalie Krudys, Rachel Sosik and Charlotte Spelman together with teachers Lisa Kaplan, Margaret Trum and Patricia Perna helped where they were needed, serving the snacks or helping with the photos. 

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Sparta Middle School Principal Michael Gregory said, “Despite the chilly weather, they did an awesome job spreading joy and holiday cheer as they helped the many children and their families who came to visit Santa.”

Participants were asked to donate a can of food at the event.  Gibbs said they had collected “a full SUV of canned goods.”

Gibbs extended appreciation to the Kiwanis, Mohawk Gardens, Duffy Brennan, Weichert Realtors and Laura Lewis who took the photos.  In addition he thanked the fire department and Chief Wilson.  “When you ask for his help, he comes through,” said Gibbs.  “They were there for the visit with Santa and reception for the [Sparta High School] football team. They had a flag on top of the ladder truck with the blue light shining on it on Route 15 to greet the team returning to Sparta.”

This was the fifteenth year of the Sparta Recreation’s Holiday Festival and Visit with Santa.