Moorestown sends season’s greetings with an array of holiday events

Thanksgiving may not be here yet, but Santa Claus is already at the Cherry Hill Mall, stores are promoting holiday deals and the temperature is rapidly dropping.

There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the season in Moorestown next month.

The Community House’s 7th Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration

The Moorestown Community House will continue its annual tradition of a tree and menorah lighting ceremony on Monday, Dec. 2., at 5:30 p.m. Community house staff will be joined by Fox 29’s Kathy Orr, with musical entertainment from the Philly Pops and Moorestown Madrigals. Brandywine Senior Living will provide hot chocolate and Wegmans will supply cookies and water. 

Executive Director Caryn Lynch, said the community house is thrilled to host the local nonprofit Kennedy’s Cause during the celebration. The nonprofit will collect toys and crafts for the Child Life Department at Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. The items will go to patients and their families, and are often a distraction during difficult procedures and hospitalizations. For the health of patients, all items must be new, in original packaging and unwrapped.

Lynch thinks the annual event is successful year after year because it’s an opportunity to break away from the hustle and bustle of the season and pause to enjoy a  neighbor’s company. 

“It is truly special to have friends and family throughout town gather together on the front lawn of the community house,” Lynch said. “The event, with its simple joys and community spirit, is symbolic of all the wonderful things that represent Moorestown.”

3rd Annual Children’s Holiday Shop

The Moorestown Community House will also play host to a children’s holiday shop. From the very beginning, the house has seen hundreds of children shop for low-cost items in a safe and spirited environment. Parents can mingle and enjoy refreshments nearby. 

The holiday shop will be open Dec. 5 from 5 to 6 p.m. for a special needs shopping hour and from 6 to 8 p.m. for general admission. Other general admission hours are Dec. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

59th Annual Holiday Parade

Main Street will be shut down on Saturday, Dec. 7 to make way for an array of sounds, colors and holiday cheer. The Moorestown Lions Club’s 59th Annual Holiday Parade will kick off at noon at the corner of Chester and Central avenues before strutting down the town’s main thorofare.

This year’s theme is “Holiday of the Future,” which parade Chairman Peter Thorndike said was chosen to give kids a chance to be creative. 

“It’s such a broad category,” he explained. “They can pretty much come up with anything.” 

The parade will feature performances from string bands, bagpipers, Moorestown High School’s band and the Liberty Band. Thorndike said local Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops always participate, and pretty much anyone in Moorestown is welcome to sign up until the last minute.

At its heart, he added, the parade is about including as many children as possible, noting  it’s the people of Moorestown who have kept the parade around for so long. Many residents who saw the parade as kids return with their own children. He estimated that in a year with good weather, the parade can draw from between 4,000 and 5,000 spectators.

MoorArts Holiday Arts Festival 

After the parade, Moorestown residents can make their way to the Moorestown Community House for the MoorArts Holiday Arts Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. The house will play host to a variety of student artwork, including painting, sketches, sculpture and photography produced by kindergarten through 12th-grade students in the Moorestown school district.

The annual festival is sponsored by MoorArts and the Moorestown Township Public School District and is designed to highlight the work of the town’s artists and performers. The festival will be accompanied by live musical entertainment from middle and elementary school students. While there, children can make a holiday craft and light snacks will be served.

14th Annual Luncheon with Santa

For those who want to log some one-on-one time with Santa, the Moorestown Knights of Columbus will hold its 14th annual Luncheon with Santa following the parade on Dec. 7 at Our Lady of Good Counsel’s cafeteria. The cost of lunch is $5 per person, but will be capped at $25 for families. The proceeds go toward local charities.

“This is a great opportunity for families to meet and mingle on Main Street and then to bring the children to meet Santa and take a photo for the family album at no cost,” said Jim Cassidy, one of the knights with the Moorestown chapter.

“Santa tells us that it is a joy for him to see children growing up year by year as they make their annual visit with him.” 

Cassidy said the parade is a “real piece of Americana” worth seeing, followed by a warm and delicious meal and photo with Santa Claus.

Moorestown Jewish Association Hanukkah Celebration 

The Moorestown Jewish Association will host a Hanukkah Celebration Dec. 15 at the Moorestown Community House from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The event will feature music from the Odessa Klezmer band, and there will be a Best Kugel contest. The celebration will also feature snacks and crafts for those who attend.

Throughout Hanukkah, the Moorestown Jewish Association will feature an individual, couple or family who will light one of the candles on the community house lawn each night. The Humans of Moorestown series will unfold on the MJA’s Facebook and Instagram pages.