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Tri-Boro towns kick off holiday season

Hundreds enjoy annual Christmas village and seasonal festival

Albert J. Countryman Jr./The Sun
Softball players at the Riverton Christmas village included Anna Rafter, Luca Tuscano, Charlotte Campbell, Francesca Caione, Liz Youngblood, Lizzie Quinn, Ruby Baum, Violet Baum, Maddy McComb, Ryan Curcie, Quinn Lynch, M.J. Lynch, Lucy Campbell and Lexi Brooks.

The towns of Cinnaminson, Palmyra and Riverton have long been known as the Tri-Boro, with their residents attending each other’s carnivals, parades and festivals for many years.

The tradition continued this year as hundreds of people were expected to attend the Cinnaminson holiday festival at Wood Park on Dec. 17, postponed due to inclement weather on Dec. 10. And, on a crisp, sunny afternoon the week before, hundreds more enjoyed seeing Santa Claus, browsing at 50 plus craft vendors and listening to live music during the third annual Riverton Christmas village at Broad and Main streets.

Carolers serenaded shoppers who took in the handmade crafts and other gifts at tables set up along the railroad tracks. The aroma of food trucks permeated the air, and some adults relaxed in the outdoor beer garden connected to Brewery Thirty Three. Others crossed Main Street, where more tables were set up and free hot chocolate was given out by volunteers.

“Today is beautiful,” said Lucy Campbell, a softball player with the Palmyra-Riverton Athletic Association who was selling holiday treats with her teammates to raise funds for next season. “We were here last year and it was rainy. So many people have been helping us support the league.”

“We made $2,000 on last year’s bake sale and we are doing well so far today,” said Lucy’s mother Abbi. “The funds will be used to defray equipment and tournament costs for the players in the baseball and softball programs.”

A majority of the baked goods displayed on two large tables were homemade by the players and their families, and they are delicious, Campbell said, adding that the various teams in the association were taking shifts at the tables during the six-hour event. They used a smaller table to sell Pal-Riv T-shirts.

“This is great,” said Luca Tuscano. “I get to help support my softball team.”

“Friends and family made the treats,” noted Luca’s teammate, Anna Rafter. “I like hanging out with my team. We work well together.”

“It is enjoyable to see everybody buying the treats we have made,” observed Ruby Baum, pointing out that the brownies, cookies and cupcakes were going fast.

Other teammates helping out included Charlotte Campbell, Francesca Caione, Liz Youngblood, Lizzie Quinn, Maddy McComb, Ryan Curcie, Quinn Lynch, M.J. Lynch and Lexi Brooks. In the nearby pavilion, Santa listened to children’s holiday gift wishes, and just 20 yards away, a young man with a guitar entertained the crowd.

The event was hosted by the town’s economic improvement committee and the Riverton Improvement Association. Their stated goal is to sponsor events in town that improve foot traffic to downtown businesses, including food truck events and family movie nights.

Meanwhile, as of press time, Cinnaminson officials were hoping there would be good weather for the rescheduled holiday festival on Dec. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Wood Park. It will feature a Christmas tree and menorah lighting, horse and carriage rides and Santa Claus, a sign that the holiday season is in full swing in the Tri-Boro.

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