Bradley Beach lights Christmas tree in community fashion

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BRADLEY BEACH — Residents of Bradley Beach came together to celebrate the start of the holiday season at dusk on Sunday.

The borough held its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Sunday, Nov. 26 in Riley Park. The evening was filled with the crooning of Elliot Vasiliev, who sang Christmas classics with his three-piece band, cookies, hot chocolate, ice carving, horse rides and, of course, a visit from the jolly big man in red himself, Santa Claus.

The annual tradition has been around for years, said Mayor Gary Engelstad.

“[It’s been around] longer than I’ve been here. For over 22 years it’s been here, every Sunday after Thanksgiving,” said the mayor. “Every year, our public works brings it up a notch, with more lights and more decorations.”

The mayor added, “It just adds a certain air every night between now and after New Year’s Day … it’s a good cap to a great weekend. We had bonfire Friday night, Shop Small Business Saturday and this today.”

“Every year we have a big Thanksgiving weekend in Bradley Beach,” said Nicole D.C. Kienlen, director of tourism for the borough and organizer of the festive evening. Ms. Kienlen said that each year, the event draws over 300 residents.

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