Heights Tree Lighting won’t be same this year

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Santa Clause makes a visit to the municipal building for the Spring Lake Heights Tree Lighting in 2018. [FILE PHOTO / THE COAST STAR]

SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS — While an alternative plan has yet to be finalized, Spring Lake Heights will not be hosting its traditional tree lighting ceremony in any way similar to the way it has in years past due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the past, the tree lighting ceremony outside of the borough’s municipal building is a local tradition and a favorite event for local residents. Residents flock to the tree, sing Christmas carols and await a visit from Santa Claus via firetruck. Children are offered rides on the truck before a nice after party at the firehouse. 

This year, that just won’t be possible as the borough explores other options for a lighting ceremony, perhaps virtually.

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“With the tree lighting we haven’t finalized what we’re going to do yet about that. We’ve had some conversations and have been trying to come up with some solutions of how we might be able to do some type of event,” Spring Lake Heights Mayor Chris Campion said on Tuesday. 

“Obviously it’s going to be very different from what we’ve done in years past if we’re able to come up with anything. More than likely it will be virtual or something done in a severely limited fashion. Sadly we won’t be having rides to the firehouse or visits with Santa. With everything going on it’s just not practical to do.”

The mayor said that he recognizes this is a sad decision for many who look forward to the event each holiday season, but said it is in everyone’s best interests to hold off on a major event this year.

“It’s the right decision that needs to be made. So while it’s sad to do, we have to make the right decision.”

THANKSGIVING CELEBRATIONS

The mayor also cautioned residents to stay safe over the Thanksgiving holiday, telling them to keep in mind that the pandemic is still ongoing. He said he understands the need many feel for normalcy that can be found among family and friends at Thanksgiving dinner, but warned residents to stay sharp.

“I know this year has been tough for a lot of people, we’re all stressed and it’s very frustrating, and I know we all need normalcy and not being able to have a traditional holiday is going to be challenging … Most importantly is that everyone needs to be smart and take care of each other. Make the choices you need to protect you and your family. You have to be aware of what’s going on.

“It’s still very real, and the situation we’re in is still very much here.”

Check out our other Spring Lake Heights stories, updated daily. And remember to pick up a copy of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.

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