Winter festival called a holiday success

Thousands headed to Chestnut Branch Park to celebrate season

Courtesy of Mantua Township. The winter festival featured a blast of fireworks and rides that gave the event a carnival feel.

Thousands showed up at Chestnut Branch Park in Mantua on Dec. 1 to celebrate the arrival of the holiday at the township’s annual winter festival.

“We get everybody together (every year) to kick off the holiday season. It was beautiful,” said  Mayor Pete Scirrotto, who was at the four-hour event. “It was a little cold, but it was a great night. There were fireworks there, which people enjoyed because they’re usually a 4th of July thing. 

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“It seemed like they went on forever.”

The crowded event had a lot to offer, specifically for kids in town. There were rides that gave the event a carnival feel on a wintery night and food trucks on hand amid the park’s bright lights. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for pictures with the children.

“Everything made it feel a little more festive,” said Scirrotto. “We had handouts for kids, like little light necklaces, food trucks, rides and pictures with Santa Claus. It’s a little break from the craziness of the world.”

“From our perspective, the food was spectacular,” read a message on the township’s Facebook page. “Funnel cakes, Belgian waffles, hot chocolate and brisket sandwiches were some of the many fantastic culinary options we had at last night’s event.

“The rides were also a hit,” the message continued. “Whether swinging on spinning swings or sitting in small versions of first responders’ vehicles, the adults and children occupied our rides from the beginning until the end of the night.”

Other officials at the event included Deputy Mayor Robert Zimmerman and Committeewoman Eileen Lukens, who was recently reelected along with Scirrotto, as well as county Commissioner Jim Jefferson.

Christmas lights were strung all over Chestnut Ridge Park to provide light for activities that were    centered around a large tree there. The fireworks went off at about 7:15 p.m.: Scirrotto claimed the colorful barrage of lights was the best part of the festival.

“It’s a nice, good event and it definitely raised the spirits of people,” the mayor noted. “The weather was nice and brisk so it felt like winter. Overall it was a good night all around.”

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