SPRINGFIELD, NJ — With a thin layer of snow still dotting the ground from Monday's winter storm, Springfield Township and the Springfield Recreation Department hosted the annual Winter Celebration on the front lawn of the Springfield Municipal Building.

The annual celebration has been going on in town for decades, and always serves as a kickoff of sorts to the holiday season in town. This year, the town gave away 400 hot pretzels, with 350 glow sticks chipped in by the Business Improvement District.

As recreation director Adam Lieb noted, this is one of the best times of the year for him, as both a person and a professional member of the staff

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"It's one of my favorite events of the entire year," Lieb said. "In fact I came to this when I was a kid. So we have a lot of people from the community coming out tonight, [and] everyone's usually in a very festive mood. Thankfully the weather is cooperating tonight."

In addition to the aforementioned pretzels, Holy Cross Lutheran Church was on hand for a donation drive to collect non-perishable food, gently-used coats and other winter accessories as well as socks and gently used towels. Boys Scouts troop 73 was also there selling wreaths and grave blankets.

Later in the evening, the town hall complex was all lit up, and a variety of activities, including horse and carriage rides, an inflatable bouncy house and a petting zoo were available to attendees. Music from the Jonathan Dayton High School Daytones singing group and the Winter Wonderland Band kept everyone entertained.

Santa even made an appearance to help light the tree in front of town hall.

As the festivities wound down, there was still a bit more to do. Springfield F.M.B.A. Local #57 handed out popcorn, hot chocolate and dozens of donuts in the ambulance bays of the Springfield First Aid Squad. Following, that residents began to head back home.