Updated Dec. 4.*
WESTFIELD, NJ — A gingerbread house building contest, the Turkey Trot, live ice carving and a Small Business Saturday giveaway from Downtown Westfield are among the socially distant happenings set to get the public warmed up for the holidays.
1. Enjoy Downtown Westfield’s Gingerbread contest. Members of the public are invited to share their holiday gingerbread creations for this annual event. Entries will be shown in windows of Westfield businesses, with online voting by the community to determine the winners in various categories. Participants must register online by Nov. 29 (extended from an initial Nov. 25 deadline) at westfieldnj.gov/gingerbread. Creations will start appearing in store windows in downtown Westfield around Dec. 4.
2. Run in the Westfield Turkey Trot. The Westfield Turkey Trot, an annual Thanksgiving weekend tradition that usually takes place in Tamaques Park, is moving to Oak Ridge Park due to COVID-19 considerations. The socially distanced race will happen Saturday, Nov. 28. There will also be a virtual option, organizers said. Click here for more information, including a link to register.
3. Watch the town’s virtual tree lighting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the town’s annual holiday tree lighting may be watched via the town’s Facebook page. The municipality will light the tree on North Avenue, formally kicking off the holiday season at 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29.
4. View the virtual menorah lighting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event will be held virtually this year. Town officials will join the Union County Torah Center — Chabad’s annual menorah lighting on North Avenue via Facebook Live to celebrate Hanukkah virtually with the community at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.*
5. Watch artists carve ice sculptures. From noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, Jimmy’s Artistic Creations and Bob Johnson of Decorative Flair will carve ice sculptures at both the North Avenue side and the South Avenue side of the Westfield Train station as well as on Quimby Street, town officials said.
6. Get a “Downtown Dollars” Voucher. The first 250 customers that visit the Downtown Westfield Corporation’s new holiday Downtown Welcome Center, located at 167 East Broad Street in the former Ann Taylor space, on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28, starting at 10 a.m. will receive a “Downtown Dollars” voucher worth $20, which they can spend at any participating downtown Westfield business. Click here for more information.
7. Pick Your Tree for Charity. The Westfield Area Y’s Men’s Club will start its Christmas tree sale on Saturday, Nov. 28, on the Elm Street field between Orchard and Walnut Streets. Lot hours are 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 5 - 9 p.m. weekdays. Sale ends on Dec. 21 or when trees are sold out. Proceeds will benefit local charities, including the Westfield Area YMCA. Click here to learn more.
8. Deck your house with lights. The Westfield Recreation Department is accepting registrations for its holiday home decorating contest until Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 11:59 p.m. The public will be voting in this contest, with the deadline to cast your online ballot Sunday, Dec. 20, at 11:59 p.m. Click here to view the list of categories and full details on the contest.
9. Watch “The Grinch” at a drive-up theater. The latest of the county’s drive-up movies will include a showing of “The Grinch,” at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, at the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus, 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. Pre-registration is required and the event it is open to Union County residents only. A registration link will be available at ucnj.org/reserve beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. Reservations will be available on a first come, first served basis.
10. Attend a Drive-in Concert. Hear tribute band The Company Men, described as a “Modern Day Rat Pack,” at their holiday show in Scotch Plains Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. The free concert is sponsored by Union County. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit ucnj.org/reserve.
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