Candy Cane Hunt set for Dec. 1

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MANASQUAN — The borough’s beloved December Candy Cane Hunt will include a few changes this year, including new age limits and times.

But the 27th edition of the Chamber of Commerce holiday event on Dec. 1 will retain all of its popular features — the Christmas tree lighting, free gifts for children from local merchants, hot chocolate, cookies and more.

With an estimated 1,500 children expected to participate, this year’s Candy Cane Hunt will be open to ages two through eight and they all must be accompanied by an adult. Previously, children up to 10 years of age were eligible.

The starting location will be new as well, in Squan Plaza. Last year, the event took place entirely on Main Street.

The tree on the plaza will be lit at 6 p.m. by Mayor Edward Donovan and the winner of an essay contest that will be held for Manasquan Elementary School students in grades 3-6. Contestants must submit a “What Christmas means to me” essay in 125 words or less, and submissions must be submitted no later than Nov. 22.

“We want to thank the merchants and organizations that contribute to this event and help supply cookies, hot chocolate and more,” said Mr. Newman.

Among the contributors are Sunnyside Manor Nursing Home, Manasquan Fire Department, Herbert Electric Inc., The Woman’s Club of Manasquan and more.

The event is free but attendees are encouraged to donate canned food for distribution to those in need during the holidays.

Participants are encouraged to arrive at 5:50 p.m., as the tree will be lit at 6:00. As always, there will be guest appearances from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.