A ‘special’ tree lighting draws ample crowd

Joseph Metz/The Sun
The tree lighting was put together by the township parks and recreation department and moved inside the recreation center because of rain.

Deptford hosted its annual tree lighting inside the township recreation center on Dec. 1, drawing hundreds to a free event that ushers in the holiday season.

The evening was kicked off by Mayor Paul Medany, who did the honors and lit the tall Christmas tree. The inside of the rec center was decked out with holiday decorations and inflatables.

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Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were on hand to hear kids’ requests and drew a line of dozens. Music was provided by a DJ and a choir consisting of students from across Deptford schools who performed “Oh Christmas Tree” and other Christmas anthems. Food and drink were served.

“As with all our community events, this is about getting the community together,” Medany said. “This is a special event, because we have the choir from the Deptford Township School District and of course, we have Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. It’s just another one of our events in the … schedule for the community.”

The tree lighting was put together by the township parks and recreation department. Originally scheduled to take place outside, the event was moved inside the recreation center because of rain.

“Our folks planned for it,” Medany noted. “We have such a great recreation department, seriously. They knew this (would happen); they watched the weather, they planned for it, and it worked out perfectly. So, we didn’t have to cancel the event and thank God we have the great recreation center to do it.”

Other officials in attendance included Councilwoman-elect Brandi Leidy, Councilman Wayne Love, Deputy Mayor Tom Hufnell and Police Chief Joe Smith.

The township will host its senior Winter Wonderland at the community center on Thursday Dec. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“We do this to bring the community together,” Medany explained. “How many folks get to meet the mayor and township council? They get to meet us, they get to meet the officers in a relaxed setting. We get to meet our friends and neighbors. We just love them: The events are great.”

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