Candy Cane Hunt delights children in Manasquan

Children check store windows for their gift numbers during Manasquan's Candy Cane Hunt Friday night. PHOTO BY STEVE WEXLER

MANASQUAN — After a countdown from 10, the borough Christmas tree illuminated Squan Plaza in a sea of thousands of faces on the day of a beloved holiday favorite.

The annual Candy Cane Hunt and tree lighting, presented by the Manasquan Chamber of Commerce, returned to the borough Friday.

“It’s tradition. We’ve been coming for the last five years,” said Brick resident Tiffany Roland, who attended with her children Savannah, Olivia and Jackson. “I love the feeling of starting the holiday season with it.”

Kicking off the night of fun, the crowd looked onward as Santa Claus took a ride through Squan Plaza on a fire engine. The jolly man in red then sat with children on Main Street as they discussed what the children wanted this holiday season.

Each candy cane was labeled with a number counting down from 1,500 — the number of red and white treats handed out to participates ages 2 through 8, accompanied by an adult. The children then cheerfully searched storefront windows on Main Street to find their matching number to win a present.

Wall resident Justin Cella attended the ceremony with his son Jake, 8, and neighbors Neo Jamison, 13, and his brother Derek, also 8.

“I like the presents,” Jake said, in agreement with Derek. But Neo said he prefers “the adventure of” finding his matching candy cane number on a storefront window.

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.