See what Gloucester and Winslow Townships have in store this holiday season

Check out The Sun’s annual Winter Preview.

As the holidays hastily settle upon Sicklerville, families and friends search for events to fulfill their festive frenzies. With rosy cheeks and frosty air, residents are ready to embrace a month of twinkling lights and gift-giving. Whether you’re munching on pancakes with a special guest from the North Pole or cruising on a carousel ride, Gloucester and Winslow townships are offering a scope of holiday delights this season.

Get in the Holiday Mood with Mainstage Holiday Concert and Family Festival

On Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17, Mainstage Center for the Arts will host its annual holiday performance with an accompanying yuletide festival. Encompassing a scope of talent, the performance will feature Mainstage’s Dance Company, Musical Theatre Company, the Encore and Harmony show choirs and more.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive an hour before show time to purchase cookies, take photos with Santa Claus and decorate ornaments. There are additional fees for the ornament-making station and a cookie fundraiser, which benefit Harmony’s summer performance tour. Ornaments cost $1.

“The show really helps audiences get into the spirit of holidays, because it’s a lot of delightful music for families to enjoy,” said Stacy Napolitano, business development manager for Mainstage.

The concert begins at 7 p.m., Dec. 16, and 2 p.m., Dec. 17 in Lincoln Hall and the Dennis Flyer Theatre, Camden County College in Blackwood. There will be a 15-minute intermission. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children under 12/senior citizens.To purchase tickets, visit www.mainstage.org, or call (855) 936–2467.

“We think it’s a really nice opportunity to take a break from running around and shopping to enjoy a couple hours of great music and performance,” Napolitano said.

Santa Letters

Does your child want to write to Santa?

If so, send their letters to Gloucester Township through Friday, Dec. 15.

The township will make sure Santa replies. All letters will be read and answered by Santa, so include your child’s name and address. Mail your child’s letter to: Santa Claus — North Pole, PO Box 8, Blackwood, 08012.

Blackwood Fire Christmas Parade

On Saturday Dec. 2, the Blackwood Fire Department will host its Annual Christmas Parade from 6 to 9 p.m. The parade will begin at the intersection of Black Horse Pike and Davistown Road and then proceed north to Blackwood Fire Company. Following the parade, children can meet Santa Claus inside the fire station, located at 1261 Chews Landing Road. Entertainment will be provided by Mainstage’s Encore show choir.

Please call (856) 227–7798 for more information.

Gloucester Township Carousel Rides

From Friday Dec. 8 to Sunday, Dec. 10, Veterans Park will transform into a yuletide carnival, as Gloucester Township hosts free holiday carousel rides. On Dec. 9, rides will run from at 5 to 8 p.m. On Dec. 10, rides will run from noon to 8 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 10, rides will run from 1 to 9 p.m.

Gloucester Township’s Santa Brunch

On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Gloucester Township Recreation Department is hosting a brunch with Santa at 80 Broadacres Drive, Clementon, from 10 a.m. to noon. The event is free.

Enjoy bagels, donuts, refreshments and games. Attendees are encouraged to bring their cameras to take photos with Santa. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need. An adult must accompany children.

Gloucester Township Christmas Tree Lighting

Sunday, Dec. 10, is the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Park, located at 1261 Chews Landing Road, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Mainstage’s Encore show choir.

Winslow Township Tree Lighting

On Friday, Dec. 8, Winslow Township will hosts it annual Holiday Tree lighting starting at 6:30 p.m. at Miller’s Mulch, located at 624 S. Egg Harbor Road in Hammonton. At 7 p.m., a fire truck parade will bring a special visitor from the North Pole.The mayor and Township Committee would like to invite all Winslow Township residents to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies donated by the Celebrations Committee to celebrate the holiday season.

Sicklerville United Methodist Church Cookie Swap

On Monday, Dec. 11, stop by Sicklerville United Methodist Church, located at 406 Church Road, Sicklerville, and swap your favorite Christmas cookies. Soup, salad and beverages will also be severed. Bring two and a half dozen homemade cookies. Store bought cookies are not encouraged but bakery goods are acceptable. The fourth annual cookie exchange starts at 6:30 pm. Tickets cost $5. For more information, call (856) 728–1636.

Sicklerville United Methodist Church Advent dinner

On Sunday, Dec. 10, Sicklerville United Methodist Church invites families to an advent dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Participants are asked to sign up on the bulletin board across from the office to contribute a soup or crockpot dish. The dinner will be followed by Christmas carols. For more information, call (856) 728–1636.

Christmas Covered Dish and Christmas Concert

On Saturday, Dec.2, Chews United Methodist Church, located at 319 N. Black Horse Pike, Glendora, will host a covered dish dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a concert at 7:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a covered meal to feed eight people. The holiday performance will feature Gary Langel and Maria Melchiore. For more information, contact (856) 939–1007.

Children’s Christmas Extravaganza

On Sunday, Dec. 17, Chews United Methodist Church is hosting a yuletide play performed by Sunday School children, encompassing a musical performance, spoken poems and Bible verse readings. The show starts at 5 p.m.

Blue Christmas Service

Chews United Methodist will host a service especially oriented toward those struggling with grief amid the holiday season. The service is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.

Santa Saturday at WTHS

On Saturday, Dec. 2, a man in a big red suit is passing through Winslow Township High School from 12:30 to 4 p.m in the cafeteria. Admission is $5, which includes a festive afternoon of hot dogs, drinks, letters to Santa, face painting, craft activities, holiday music, story time with Mayor Wright, a puppet show by the fire department and making reindeer food. Photos with Santa are an additional $5. Additional refreshments will also be for sale. All proceeds benefit Project Graduation.

For children with special needs, email wthshsa@gmail.com for Sensitive Santa appointments.

Winter concerts at WTHS

On Wednesday, Dec. 20, Winslow Township High School will host its Winter Band and Orchestra Concert at 7 p.m. The following evening, Thursday, Dec. 21, the choir will perform at 7 p.m. For more information, call (856) 767–1850.

Psycho Trail’s Community Christmas

The infamous horror route is swapping its ghouls and goblins for some holly and jolly celebrations. On Saturday, Dec. 23, enjoy an evening of Christmas lights, hot chocolate, Santa sightings and live holiday music. The event is free, but any donations will go to the American Cancer Society. The event, at 311 Harrison Ave., Blackwood, will run from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Booking It With Police

Sip hot chocolate and eat cookies, as the Gloucester Township Police Department reads stories to children from 4 to 5 p.m at GTPD Family Resource Center on Friday, Dec. 15. Each attending child will receive two free books. To RSVP, contact (609) 238–0685.