Upcoming events abound in Washington Township
With Halloween and Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, that can only mean one thing — the holiday season is right around the corner.
Washington Township will host its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Washington Lake Park Amphitheater.
Lisa Collins, event coordinator, said, in addition to the tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance on a fire engine.
“The kids can sit on his lap in front of the tree, parents can take pictures,” Collins said.
The tree lighting will also feature a heated tent serving hot chocolate and cookies, a special guest appearance by Frosty the Snowman, an elf doing balloon art and the Washington Township High School choir singing Christmas carols on stage.
Collins said the tree lighting is a popular event for the community; regardless of the weather.
“Whether it’s warm or cold, it doesn’t chase anyone away, it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “We’ve had snow, sleet, cold, warm, it’s always a big turnout.”
The Washington Township Historic Preservation Commission will host its annual “Magic of Christmas” event at the Olde Stone House Village on Egg Harbor Road in Sewell on Dec. 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Magic of Christmas will have its own tree lighting ceremony, starting at 5:30 p.m., along with a photo-op with Santa at the Olde Stone House building. Inside the train station there will be another tree and a reading of “The Polar Express,” including speakers to pump in train sounds. Historic Preservation Commission member Colin Finnigan said kids will get a surprise at the reading.
“Every year is a little different,” Finnigan explained. “Last year, we had Washington Township High School carolers that walked around and sang.”
Nick Appice, the chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, included that kids can write letters to Santa and receive a response from the man himself. He added that light refreshments, like hot chocolate, will be available.
“This is my favorite event because it’s a low-key family fun event,” Appice said. “We get so many return families every year, it’s great to see everybody come back. Every year we get return people who make it a family tradition — it’s awesome. It’s the most fun out of our events.”
For more information on this event, email TownshipHistory1836@gmail.com.
The Calvary Chapel Church of Gloucester County will gear up for the holiday season with its Caroling, Soup and Chili event on Dec. 2. Meet at the church, located on Route 42 N. in Turnersville, at 4:45 p.m. before going caroling from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A fellowship follows from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the church. Sign up to bring soup or chili, and call the church office at (856) 302–1804 with any questions.
St. John’s United Methodist Church will host the “Christmas Cantata” on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. The Christmas Cantata is a free, family friendly concert performed by the St. John’s Adult Choir at the church located on Ganttown Road.
The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library is getting in the holiday spirit by way of a free holiday concert as well. On Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. the library will host the Quattro Bassi Band, which will perform holiday music.
The Washington Township School District holiday concert schedule ranges between Dec. 11 and Dec. 20. Orchard Valley Middle School seventh and eighth graders have their concert on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., while the sixth graders’ show is Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. Bunker Hill Middle School seventh and eighth graders’ concert is on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., and the sixth-grade show is Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. The Chestnut Ridge Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade show is Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., and the sixth-grade concert is Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. The Washington Township High School Orchestra and Guitar Concert takes place on Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m..