Clark gets in the spirit with winter festival

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CLARK, NJ — On Sunday, Nov. 27, Clark hosted its 13th annual Holiday Winter Festival from 3 to 6 p.m. Appearances were made by Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and the Grinch. There were also performances by Clark school choirs, the Arthur L. Johnson High School band and Dicken’s carolers.

“I’m here to support my two kids in the Hehnly School choir,” Mindy Grewe, of Clark, told LocalSource in an interview. “This is our first year living in Clark. We just moved from Missouri. My other two kids and I are going to go for a ride in the horse-drawn wagon. We also plan to stay for the tree lighting and to see Santa. This event is putting us in the holiday spirit.”

The inside of the municipal building was lined with creative trees decorated by township organizations and businesses. The Christmas tree lighting took place at 6 p.m. and the menorah was lit in anticipation of Hanukkah.

Clark Cub Scout Pack 145 collected donations to Toys for Tots, while Scott McCabe, of Clark, collected signatures for letters to be sent overseas to soldiers. One resident’s son was taking a turn collecting the donations with his Cub Scout pack.

“My son is working a shift to collect donations to Toys for Tots with his Cub Scout pack,” Jennifer Jacobsen, of Clark, told LocalSource. “I’m here with my four kids today, and the rest of them want to go on the pony rides. We’re also going to stay and see Santa and the tree lighting.”

The pony rides and petting zoo attracted a lot of attention from the residents, as many of them took turns riding the ponies and feeding the goats while petting them. The warmth of the holiday season was apparent even though the weather was getting colder as the event continued.

“I’m collecting signatures for the Christmas letters to be sent overseas to the troops,” said McCabe. “The goal for today is to get 1,000 signed letters. People just have to sign their name and we take care of the rest. On Dec. 1, I will turn the letters in to the council and they will ship them out overseas.”

When Santa arrived, residents were welcome to take a photograph with him. They were encouraged to bring a camera, and all of the activities were enjoyed by residents free of charge. The family event was hosted by Clark. Hot chocolate, cider donuts, popcorn, hot pretzels, jelly apples and candy canes were all available to residents.