The township will welcome the holiday with its annual tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 2 outside of the Deptford Recreation Center, an evening designed for the whole family to be involved.
The event will be presented by Mayor Paul Medany and township council, and a choir of Deptford students will sing Christmas carols. It has been going on for 20 years.
“It is the beginning of the holiday season,” said Deputy Clerk Tina Helder. “The mayor lights the tree in the main event. Santa will be there to meet with the kids and there will also be food and hayrides there.”
“We have trailers around the field and have Christmas rides which have characters for the kids. Last year the kids came and sang, and it was wonderful
Guests can pose for complimentary photos with old Saint Nick and other holiday characters, like Buddy the Elf, who will make their rounds at the recreation center, where the tree lighting will be held. Kids will also receive a ticket for a surprise gift. Treats like hot chocolate and cookies will be available and a movie will also be shown.
The event is free, and no registration is required. There is currently no rain date. At least 600 people are expected to attend the event, according to Medany.
The tree lighting is one of three holiday-themed activities sponsored by the township throughout the holiday season. A senior winter wonderland is scheduled for Dec. 15 at the township community center, and pictures in the Deptford dog park with Santa will take place on Dec. 17.
The township will also host a Christmas house decorating contest planned by the parks and recreation department. It can be entered by emailing email@example.com before Dec. 15.
Hours for the tree lighting are 6 to 8 p.m., with the lighting itself about halfway through. More information can be found on the township website, its Facebook page and by emailing the above address.
“It’s a fantastic family event,” said Medany. “It’s an event for everyone and we all love it.”