Gloucester Township and Winslow Township have plenty to keep residents entertained during the…

Gloucester Township and Winslow Township have plenty to keep residents entertained during the holidays

From multiple chances to see Santa Claus, tree lighting ceremonies and helping those in need, residents have plenty to keep busy with this holiday season.

The winter holidays will soon be upon the residents of Gloucester and Winslow townships, and they will have plenty of events to keep them busy throughout the rest of the year.

Gloucester Township

The holiday season kicks off with the annual Blackwood Fire Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. The theme of this year’s parade is “United We Stand.” The parade will begin at the intersection of Black Horse Pike and Church Street. It will proceed south to the Gloucester Township Outlets where Santa will make an appearance. There will be a tree lighting ceremony, and hot chocolate will be served. Enjoy live caroling performances from Mainstage Center for the Arts and special giveaways from retailers and local businesses.

Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon is another opportunity to meet old Saint Nick at Santa Brunch. Enjoy bagels, donuts, refreshments, fun and games. Don’t forget to bring your camera and get your picture taken with Santa. This event is free, but please bring a new unwrapped toy for a child in need. An adult must accompany children. It will be held at the Gloucester Township Recreation Center, located at 80 Broadacres Drive, Clementon.

The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place Sunday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Veterans Park on Chews Landing Road in Clementon. Join Mayor Dave Mayer and council as they light the tree. Entertainment will be provided by Mainstage Center for the Arts.

Does your child want to write to Santa this holiday? Send letters to Gloucester Township and it will make sure Santa replies. All letters must be received by Dec. 15 and will be read and answered by Santa; please include your child’s name and address. Mail your child’s letter to: Santa Claus~North Pole, PO Box 8, Blackwood, NJ 08012.

Winslow Township

The Winslow Township annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Miller’s Mulch, located at 624 S. Egg Harbor Road (Route 561) in Hammonton. Join Mayor Barry Wright and Township Committee to kick off the holiday season. Refreshments will be served, and Santa will arrive by fire truck at 7 p.m. The rain date is Friday, Dec. 9. For more information, call (609) 567–0700.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, it’s our furry friends’ turn to get photos with Santa. The Winslow Animal Hospital will be hosting Pet Photos with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A $15 donation is requested, which will support local animal shelters. Call (856) 875–1323 to reserve your time slot. The Winslow Animal Hospital is located at 640 Sicklerville Road, Sicklerville.

The Rotary Club of Winslow Township is holding two events this holiday season. On Dec. 10, it is hosting a casino bus trip to the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City. The cost of the trip is $30, and when you arrive at the casino, you will get $25 back in slot money and $10 for food. The bus departs Winslow Township High School at 3 p.m. and leaves Atlantic City at 10 p.m.

The Rotary Club also will be holding its annual food bank at the Bud Duble Senior Center on Dec. 21, serving Christmas dinner to around 100 families. The Rotary Club is asking for donations of canned goods such as corn, green beans and candied yams; turkeys, macaroni and cheese and stuffing. If you are willing to donate, call Russell Bates at (856) 981–7652 to arrange pick up at your house.