FAIRFIELD, NJ — Despite the inclement weather, hundreds of families attended Fairfield’s third annual Winter Wonderland extravaganza on Sunday night.

“Even though it is raining, Santa is coming,” said Anthony Pompei, director of Fairfield’s recreation program.

Among those who enjoyed Fairfield’s festivities were youngsters Brielle Przybylinski and Sophia Salvato, who enjoyed the decorations and said, “The whole park looks cool.”

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“We always have a good time in Fairfield,” Joanna Franciscone, whose son, AJ, was riding the bucking reindeer.

The drug-free Winter Wonderland event, sponsored by the Fairfield Municipal Alliance Committee (FMAC) and Fairfield Recreation, included an iceless skating rink, a “Frozen”-themed bounce house, trackless train, a bucking reindeer, strolling Christmas carolers, two horse-and-carriage rides, interactive Christmas snow globe ornament for family pictures and photos with Santa. Hot pretzels, roasted chestnuts, an indoor café serving coffee, hot chocolate, pastries and cookies were also served.

Representatives of the Fairfield Education Association PRIDE said they were honored to sponsor the snow globe at the FMAC’s Winter Wonderland.

“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.”

Students of the Fairfield Recreation’s Busy Hands sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” while wearing their antlers as part of the township’s traditional tree lighting ceremony.

“It is wonderful to see our community come together for this Winter Wonderland celebration,” said Christine Grasso, Busy Hands’ coordinator/instructor, who explained that there are 28 children in the program, but that not all of them were able to attend on Sunday.

Kelly Hricko, also a Busy Hands’ instructor, helped the children prepare for the program.

Following the Busy Hands’ performance, Joseph Mauriello and Elianna Salvato, Fairfield recreation’s 2018 king and queen, sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” When Santa arrived via fire truck after a slight delay, the crowd cheered as he made his way to the platform.

With the help of the Mayor James Gasparini and Santa, Joseph and Elianna pushed the button to light up the Fairfield Township Christmas tree. Santa proceeded inside the recreation building to meet the local children while the king and queen followed closely behind to help hand out candy canes.

“It’s a wonderful event for the children,” said Linda Rosania, grandmother of Elianna.

Pompei thanked members of the Fairfield Police Department, Fairfield Fire Department, Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT), West Essex First Aid Group, Fairfield teachers and the Fairfield Knights of Columbus for their support at this event. Pompei also acknowledged resident John Hilaire of Fun Services for helping set up and coordinate the program.

Event sponsors included the Fairfield Education Association PRIDE, DLS Contracting Inc., Nanina’s in the Park, David’s Cookies, Jason Street—Apple Gate Farms, Lattimer Realty, Dr. Lenny Russo, D&L Paving, Iannia family, Janice and Bob Corsilli and Fishman family.

Gasparini said that this great annual event would not be possible without the many volunteers and sponsors.