Moorestown celebrates the holidays with a slew of events

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As the weather starts to cool, soon there will be the twinkling of lights, hot beverage sales and fun holiday events in Moorestown, just in time to get you in the holiday spirit.

The holiday season will kick off with the Moorestown Lions Club’s 55th Annual Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 5. The parade, which begins at noon at the corner of Chester and Central avenues, will include performances by string bands, bagpipers, the Moorestown High School band and the Liberty Band. In addition, there will be marching units and floats.

“It is a holiday celebratory function that brings the whole town together and enables a lot of the children in town to participate,” Parade Chairman Peter Thorndike said.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Holiday Movies.” Cash prizes will be awarded to the partici­pants in the parade best exemplifying the theme. The event will happen rain or shine.

“Families and kids really enjoy the parade. There is a lot of entertainment. In addition to bands, there is a llama and his barnyard friends, stilt walkers, clowns and other things that make a parade fun,” Thorndike said.

The parade begins at Central and Chester avenues and travels north to Main Street. It then travels south on Main Street until it reaches Church Street and the reviewing stand, where it will proceed south to Memorial Field.

Groups wishing to participate should notify Thorndike, during the day at (856) 795–1090 or in the evening at (856) 234–7345, to register and secure further information.

Following the parade, the Moorestown Knights of Columbus is sponsoring its 9th Luncheon with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. in the Our Lady of Good Counsel cafeteria located at 23 Prospect St., behind the church. Families will get the opportunity to enjoy lunch, at $5 per person, not exceeding $20 per family for all-you-can-eat, and meet Santa Claus.

“The event is early in December, but I think it gets a child’s imagination and Christmas spirit going. That’s really what I hope for the most — that the children do not walk away discouraged about anything — but happy and renewed with the true spirit of the holidays,” event organizer Gregory Klint said.

In addition, each child visiting Santa can have a photograph taken and will be given a Christmas goodie. Be sure to bring a camera for pictures. If you don’t have one, a staff member will take the picture and email it to the parent/guardian. All pictures are free.

Also after the parade will be the MoorArts Holiday Arts Festival. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Church Street Recreation Center, student artwork, ranging from paintings and sketches to sculpture and photography, selected from K-12 art classes in the Moorestown Township Public Schools, will be presented to the public at this traditional seasonal event.

“Seeing the student artwork, it is amazing to see the development from K to 12,” Supervisor of Arts and Technology for MTPS Patricia Rowe said.

While admiring the art exhibit, festival-goers will be treated to an exciting lineup of live musical entertainment performed by middle and elementary school students. Admission to the Holiday Arts Festival is free and face painting will be offered at no charge. For a small fee, children are also invited to take part in holiday craft-making activities, and light snacks will be on sale to keep spirits bright.

The Holiday Arts Festival is an annual event sponsored by MoorArts in collaboration with the MTPS and the Moorestown Parks and Recreation Department. This event, designed to highlight the talents of the town’s youngest artists and performers, reflects MoorArts’ ongoing commitment to promoting a wide range of fine and performing arts within Moorestown schools and the community.

“(I hope the children) get inspiration. They get excited to show their work and see other students’ work, they get inspired by each other … (I hope the public) gets to see the wonderful things the students do in the schools for the arts and continue to support the arts in our schools,” Rowe said.

The following Monday, Dec. 7, the Moorestown Community House will host its 3rd Annual Tree Lighting Celebration. All are invited to attend along with Fox 29 and Moorestown’s own Kathy Orr on the front lawn of the MCH to continue this memorable tradition celebrating the holiday season.

“It is about bringing our community together. This year is a little special in celebrating that our building is still here and will continue to serve the community the way that it always has,” MCH Executive Director Brad Kenney said, in regard to the fire at the MCH last week.

Festivities will begin on the front lawn at 5:30 p.m. and will include a children’s story by Timothy R. Hollybottom, musical entertainment by the Madrigals and the Philly POPS, warm clothing collections by MooreKids, new toy collection by Live Civilly, hot chocolate donated by Brandywine Senior Living, cookies and water donated by Wegmans, and candy canes passed around by Community House board members and staff.

The event will culminate at approximately 6:15 p.m. with the lighting of the 20-foot Norway Spruce, donated by the Palko Family. The tree will once again be decorated with beautiful lights donated by Moorestown Hardware, with the labor to hang the lights being donated by Hyperion Tree Service.

Following the lighting, those attending will be treated to a drive by visit from Santa on the fire truck. To learn more, visit www.ourcommunityhouse.com.

The Moorestown Mall will also host a number of holiday spirited happenings including pictures with Santa for families and pets and musical performances by area schools. For more information on these events, go to moorestown-mall.com/calendar.