Burlington Township is getting into the holiday spirit

Tree lighting ceremony, food pantry 5K race and other events to take place in December

Burlington Township residents can start to spread holiday cheer this winter with events starting the first day of December and continuing through the end of the year. From the annual tree lighting to crafts at the library, there’s something for every resident this holiday season.

Annual tree lighting scheduled for Dec. 1

This year’s annual tree lighting, sponsored by the Heritage Commission, will take place on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at Green Acres Park. Students from the Burlington Township School District will be at the ceremony to sing and perform jazz.

“This year, we’re adding something new,” Heritage Commission Chairperson Eileen Liss said. “We’re asking people to bring an unwrapped toy for children in Burlington Township to put a smile on a child’s face through the holiday.”

Residents who are unable to make the tree lighting ceremony but wish to donate a gift can visit the Tree of Giving at the Burlington Township Municipal Building. Simply select an ornament from the tree and purchase a gift for the age group specified on the ornament, then return the gift to the municipal building by Dec. 5.

This is the first year Burlington Township is doing a Tree of Giving charity. All gifts donated will go directly to children in need within the community.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to give some less fortunate families a good holiday,” Liss said. “As many donations as we can get means more families we can give a smile to.”

Burlington Township Foundation hosts Tricky Tray event

The Burlington Township High School Family Association is holding a Tricky Tray raffle on Friday, Dec. 2 at 6:15 p.m. at the Fountain Woods Elementary School. Admission is $10 per person. Basket drawings will be at 7:30 p.m., the 50/50 drawing will be at 9:30 p.m. and the “X-treme” raffle drawing will be at 9:45 p.m.

Raffle prizes range from $1 to $1,000 in value. X-treme prizes include Fitbits, a Playstation 4 bundle and a Microsoft Surface. Tickets to the X-treme raffle are $5 per ticket and can be purchased in advance by cash or check by contacting hsfa@burlingtontownshipfoundation.org. Only cash will be accepted the night of the event.

This is the High School Family Association’s biggest event of the year. No person under 18 years of age will be permitted. All funds raised will benefit the students of the Burlington Township School District.

Holiday 5K Race for the Hungry

The Burlington Township Food Pantry will host its 7th annual Holiday 5K Race for the Hungry to raise funds for needy families on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. The first 200 participants to register will receive a free t-shirt. All participants can enjoy fresh fruit, other snacks and drinks, music and a visit from Santa.

Race Coordinator and Burlington Township Food Pantry Board Member Judy Hirt requests all participants bring a nonperishable food item, as many township residents are in need this holiday season. Visit btfootpantry.org for the race registration link.

Victorian Holiday Celebration

The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again presenting the Victorian Holiday Celebration on Dec. 4 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Historic Smithville Park in Eastampton.

Santa will arrive at 1 p.m. by horse and carriage. Other festivities will include carriage rides, vendors, ice carving, face painting, crafts, strolling performers and story time with Mrs. Claus.

Smithville Mansion tours will also be available for a nominal fee. Back by popular demand are Olaf, The Grinch, s’mores and train rides.

The Historic Smithville Park is located at 803 Smithville Road in Eastampton. Admission is free for the Victorian Holiday Celebration.

Girl Scouts pancake breakfast

On Saturday, Dec. 10 the Girl Scouts of Tangled Webbb will be holding their first ever Pancake and PJ Holiday Breakfast. The breakfast will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Beverly United Methodist Church in Beverly.

Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in pajamas, enjoy some pancakes and other breakfast foods and take a photo with Santa. Entry is $10 for adults and $7 for children younger than seven.

Tangled Webbb serves Girl Scouts in Burlington Township, Burlington City, Beverly, Willingboro and Edgewater Park.

Holiday library events

Many holiday events will take place at the Burlington County Library in Westampton.

On Friday, Dec. 2, the library will host a natural holiday ornament workshop where community members can make tree ornaments from natural items such as twigs and acorns.

Make a personalized snowflake at the library on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Snowflakes can be personalized with names and phrases and will be framed to keep or give as gifts.

Children of all ages can stop at the library starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8 to make a Grinch-themed craft to take home. Small children will need help from an adult.

On Friday, Dec. 16, the library will host a gift-making extravaganza that will include everything from custom mugs to snow globes. Gift-makers are also invited to give back by creating holiday cards for the residents of Aspen Hills Healthcare as well as toys for the animals at the Burlington County Animal Shelter.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be dropping by the library on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 12:30 p.m. to sign stories with the Burlington County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education Initiative. The pair will then stick around to accept holiday wishes and take photos.