Marlton rang in the holiday season in grand fashion Friday, Dec. 6, with the annual Winterfest celebration at Evesham Fire-Rescue Station 221 on Main Street. This year’s celebration expanded outside of the station and onto Cooper Avenue where there were food vendors, crafters and children’s activities available for residents young and old to enjoy.
Following Santa’s arrival on the scene by way of the station’s fire pole, a long line of children formed, waiting patiently for their chance to share their Christmas lists with the man of the season.
While they waited, The Sun took the opportunity to poll residents about their holiday traditions and what they look forward to most about the season.
Among the township officials present at the event were Mayor Jaclyn Veasy and Councilwoman Patricia Hansen.
Veasy said the holidays are a busy time for her and her family. An active member of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Marlton, her Christmas starts with their annual midnight Mass ceremony. She also hosts a number of holiday get-togethers at her home.
In spite of the effort required hosting friends and family around the holidays, the mayor says it is part of what makes the season for her.
“Everybody comes over. We have Christmas Eve, Christmas day, an after-holiday party. That’s what I look forward to, just seeing everybody and the hustle and bustle,” Veasy said.
As a guest last year, Hansen can attest to the “hustle and bustle” at Veasy’s home around the holidays.
“I went last year and I’ve never seen so many people in one house,” Hansen recalled.
The councilwoman says she prefers a peaceful and quiet Christmas day at her house following the busyness of the weeks leading up to the holiday.
“We stay in our PJs, watch movies, have hors’ devours and just enjoy the quiet time from the rush around the holidays,” Hansen said.
Residents Cindy and Jason Pederson brought their 2-year-old daughter Marley to Winterfest to meet Santa. Cindy Pederson says visiting family in Pennsylvania and driving around looking at Christmas lights are what she looks forward to most.
Wayne and Laura Sidor’s newborn Laycee, just seven weeks old, will be experiencing her first Christmas this year. Although she may not remember her first holiday, her parents are looking forward to the memories they will make along with Laycee’s 4-year-old sister Layla.
Since having children, the young couple says they have enjoyed being able to once again experience the magic of the season and “see Christmas through the eyes of a child.”
“You know how it is, after a while you’re just buying for yourself or family members, but with kids who see it all new, it makes it new again for you, it’s cool,” Wayne Sidor said.
Resident Julia Smout will also be providing Christmas for her child for the first time. She recently adopted her 6-year-old son Alex and the two will be enjoying their first holiday as a family this year.
Smout has been looking for fun holiday activities they can do together to make this first Christmas a memorable one, which is what brought her and Alex to Winterfest.
The two have been visiting homes posted on the Evesham Holiday Decoration Showcase Facebook page to see the brightest houses in town. Smout is looking forward to them being able to do some decorating of their own at home.
“We just started decorating the tree, which is so different when you have a child, last year I was just decorating by myself,” Smout said.
Not only will this be her and Alex’s first Christmas together as a family, according to Smout, it will be her son’s first Christmas, period.
“He’s never celebrated Christmas until now so it’s all new,” Smout said of the new experiences they have been sharing. “He wants to do every single one of them.”