Mayors Message: Lights on Main

In this issue’s Mayor’s Message, Mayor Lou Manzo discusses the success of the Nov. 25 Lights on Main Event.


Mayor’s Message

Lights on Main was a huge success even though we postponed it to Sunday night (Nov. 25) on very short notice. This is a testament to the folks that organize and stage the event, sponsored by our township recreation commission.

All things recreation in our wonderful community start with Sharon Chew, our recreation coordinator and her assistant, Jessica Wagner. The slew of volunteers that make an event of this magnitude happen come from our recreation commission, made up of residents and lead by Chairman Robert Johnson. Committee members Julie DeLaurentis and Vince Gangemi, Sr. and Township Administrator Mark Gravinese help quarterback everything and our public works crew and police force do their part also.

This effort engages dozens of people and we thank them all for another great event.

This year, Inspira stepped up to foot the bill for much of the entertainment costs associated with Lights on Main this year. Thank you!

The talent of our young people was showcased, once again, with dancing and singing routines and we took a moment to recognize the Clearview Regional football team and coaches for their historic run into the playoffs this year, reaching the South Jersey Group IV State Championship game.

Our little tree lighting event that was transformed into Lights on Main in 2012 is now the event of the season and even postponing things until a Sunday night couldn’t put a damper on the enthusiasm it brings. We estimate the crowd size exceeded the 8,000 who attended last year. Incredible! And perhaps you agree that this hometown gathering is the moment the holiday spirit kicks in for you.

Each year, we try to build on the look and vibe of the street to create our own Mullica Hill version of a Rockwell painting postcard of a Christmas village. Next year, we hope to add more lighting to the street. Many of the homeowners and businesses along Main Street do an incredible job decorating their properties, which takes everything to another level. We thank you for that!

It’s a wonderful visual backdrop for the season, but the real spirit comes from all of us and how we treat each other, as a community. We need look no further than our children to grasp who we are on that front. At Lights on Main, we recognized the winners of Harrison Township Elementary School’s annual essay and snowflake contests. The kindergarten thru second grade snowflake winners will be displayed in the Harrison Township Municipal Building along with the winning third thru sixth grade essays on “What can you do to serve others during this holiday season?” Our students wrote about giving to poor families, helping children in hospitals and providing assistance to animals in shelters. Our community is proud of Camryn Denton, Lily Ruggeri and Alaina Connelly for their beautiful snowflakes. We are also inspired by the raw, youthful altruism in the words of Amelia Panfile, Katelyn Reichert, Jenna Dvorak and Travis Lyons. Great works, kids!

Tell your parents the Mayor thinks you deserve something special this Christmas.