Bernardsville continues annual holiday activities


Olivia Manning

People gather in Olcott Square for Bernardsville’s annual holiday activities

Many people go all out when decorating for the holiday season. For instance, some will put brilliant lights up around their house, and others will contribute to tree lighting and events to brighten everyone’s holiday season. This season, the citizens around Bernardsville have put in a lot of effort and have planned many activities for friends and family to enjoy. There are also competitions going on where neighbors are competing in a light decorating competition. If you are unaware, events have already happened, but here is a quick recap of the events.

To start off the season, on December 1st, there was an annual holiday lighting competition around town that goes on until the 22nd of December. There are no rules to this event, except for having fun! People all around town are competing to decorate their homes to win a surprise award. To compete, you must submit your address to the Downtown Bernardsville website, and you’ll be entered in. All submissions are due by December 15, and the day after, judges will vote on whose house was the most creative.

The next event was on Saturday, December 3rd. This event was called The Annual Holly Days Celebration, located at Olcott Square. The celebration occurred from 4:00-5:30 PM. Many exciting events took place during the hour and a half. There was music around the town, where people gathered with friends and family to enjoy the Holiday lights and music. After the music, there were holiday carolers. A group of singers joined the rest of the people at Olcott Square to sing the beloved Christmas carols. The Christmas carols continued on for a while, and then as it got darker, Santa arrived in his fire truck. Santa and his sleigh gave all of the younger kids a chance to experience something magical. The next show they put on was a movie, the movie was Frosty The Snowman, a movie perfect for the Christmas season. Finally, to finish the night off, there was a reading of The Night Before Christmas tale and a chance to take a picture with Santa.

These events only happen once a year and the volunteers that help out put a lot of work into making it as jolly as possible. Ms. Manning, the executive director of downtown Bernardsville stated that she and the other people working “absolutely love the responses from the events, because the community seems so excited and happy about the events.” When talking to her about the setup of these events, she said that a majority of them are decided by the community. She said that “there is always room for change,” and that’s why it’s so helpful to have feedback from the community. Ms. Manning explained that these events are completely collaborative, and that “no one person can make events or any of our programming work.” Therefore, Bernardsville township has created an amazing experience for families and kids to help create this holiday season as magical as it can be!