Arts & Entertainment

Second Annual Winter Wonderland Attracts More Than 1000 in Fairfield

Nicholas and Giovanni Lozito have fun playing in the artificial snow. Credits: Gail Bottone
Nicholas Foti, a Busy Hands student, enjoys wearing his reindeer antlers. Credits: Gail Bottone
Members of Fairfield Municipal Alliance Committee and Recreation Commission roast pretzels for hungry crowd. Credits: Gail Bottone
Joe and Kelley Perruso, dad and of mom of Jayden and Jaxon, enjoy Fairfield Township's decorations at Winter Wonderland. Credits: Gail Bottone
Julian Innocent, one of the youngest guests at the Winter Wonderland program, enjoys his first Christmas at the Fairfield park with his mom, Lucia Innocent. Credits: Gail Bottone
Fairfield Township's Recreation King and Queen with Anthony Pompei, Director of a Recreation, get ready to greet Santa. Credits: Gail Bottone
Fairfield Township Councilman John La Forgia tells Santa what he wants for Christmas. Credits: Gail Bottone
Landon and Dylan Miraglia enjoy all the activities at the Winter Wonderland event.
Busy Hands students Lilyana, Daniella, Anthony, Gianluca, Liliana, Nick, Liam, Marlie, Drew, Gabriella, Morgan, Adriana, Abigail, Aria, Loriana, Rachel and Victoria perform at Winter Wonderland event Credits: Gail Bottone
Children rock on the largest rocking horse amusement ride. Credits: Gail Bottone
Playing hoops at the recreation park. Credits: Gail Bottone
Robert and Michael Jannicelli with their mom and dad, Tammy and Robert, are excited about Fairfield's Winter Wonderland. Credits: Gail Bottone
Olaf has fun skating with the children. Credits: Gail Bottone
Fairfield residents enjoy ice skating at the Winter Wonderland event. Credits: Gail Bottone
Jennifer Manning and Madison, her daughter, have fun ice skating. Credits: Gail Bottone
West Essex Middle School students volunteer community service time at the Winter Wonderland holiday event.
Fairfield children have a chance to be in a snow globe.
Frosty the Snowman visits Winter Wonderland.
Frosty the Snowman visits Winter Wonderland.
Gio Duva visits with Santa Credits: Gail Bottone
Anthony Pompei, director of Fairfield Recreation, leads Santa to stage.
Darren Occhiuzzo, owner of North Jersey Carriage Company, gets Jerry and Ariel, his horses, ready for giving carriage rides through Fairfield streets. Credits: Gail Bottone

FAIRFIELD, NJ — “Fairfield is such a great town,” said resident Tammy Jannicelli as she and her husband, Michael, and their children, Michael and Robert, walked to the Hollywood Avenue park in anticipation of enjoying the Winter Wonderland celebration on Sunday.

The second annual Winter Wonderland event, sponsored by the Fairfield Municipal Alliance Committee (FMAC) and the Fairfield Recreation Department, attracted an estimated 1000 or more guests, who enjoyed event highlights such as an iceless skating rink, the "world's largest" rocking-horse ride, snowman bounce house, trackless train, strolling Christmas carolers, two horse-and-carriage rides, an interactive Christmas ornament for family pictures and photos with Santa. Hot pretzels, roasted chestnuts, coffee, hot chocolate, pastries and cookies were also made available to participants.

“It’s wonderful that the town has this event and lets the residents celebrate together,” said Jannicelli, whose sons, ages 8 and 5, were especially excited ice skate.

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Fairfield Recreation’s Busy Hands’ students, as part of the township’s traditional tree-lighting ceremony, sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” wearing their antlers and red noses. The children involved included Lilyana, Daniella, Anthony, Gianluca, Liliana, Nick, Liam, Marlie, Drew, Gabriella, Morgan, Adriana, Abigail, Aria, Loriana, Rachel and Victoria.

“Kelly Hricko (a fellow instructor) and I have enjoyed preparing the children for their Winter Wonderland debut and are excited to celebrate the winter holiday season with the families of Fairfield through our Busy Hands program,” said Christine Grasso, Busy Hands’ coordinator/instructor.

Nicholas Foti, a Busy Hands student, said that he loves Busy Hands and loves his teachers.

“Everyone is having such a great time,” said his mother, Mary-Jo.

After the Busy Hands’ performance, Jayden Perruso and Vita Scazafabo, Fairfield Recreation’s 2017 king and queen, sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” With the help of the crowd, Santa heard the singing and came riding in on the firetruck as the Fairfield Christmas tree was lit.

Recreation Director Anthony Pompei and Fairfield Township Council President Michael McGlynn addressed the crowd, giving recognition to all those responsible for making the event such a great success.

The crowd was full of excitement. Four-year-old Madison Manning was delighted to be skating with her mother and said, “I just love it.”

“This is awesome,” said Nicole Miraglia, mother of four-year-old twin boys Landon and Dylan. “The kids are really enjoying themselves, and there is something fun for everyone.”

Lucia Innocent, mother of baby Julian, said, “This is really a great event. It is so perfect for all families.”

Representatives of the Fairfield Education Association PRIDE said that they were honored to sponsor the snow globe.

“FMAC is a wonderful organization to support,” they said. “They bring alcohol and drug awareness and prevention programs to Fairfield. We work in a wonderful community, and this is a great opportunity to see our students and families enjoying their town.”

Michael D’Achille, FMAC member and Fairfield resident, said FMAC tries to make this event better each year and said that participation is growing.

“It’s the best way to kick off the holiday season, and the results of our efforts are all happy,” he said. “This year, there must be over 1,000 people attending.”

Another FMAC member, Paul Bastante, said that he grew up in town and this celebration is a great way to bring the whole neighborhood together.

“Every year, we try to add something different so that everyone can have a great time,” said FMAC member Amar Coubati.

The chestnuts roasting on an open fire was a new addition, along with adding another horse drawn carriage.

The sponsors for the event included: Café - Salvatoriello family and David’s Cookies, First Commerce Bank, AMICA - Amar Coubati, pretzels - Dr. Lenny Russo, Lenny Iannia, Lattimer Realty, Fun Services, chestnuts - Franklin Steakhouse, Fairfield Education Association Pride and DePasquale family.

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