LAVALLETTE — The borough of Lavallette will be holding its annual Christmas tree lighting this year on Friday, Dec. 1, to kick off the season in true shore-town fashion.
At 6 p.m. on Dec. 1, with hot chocolate on standby, the borough’s residents and officials will gather at borough hall, 1306 Grand Central Ave., for a cozy tree-lighting ceremony, followed by the arrival of Santa Claus later in the evening.
“We do this the first Friday in December,” said Lavallette Council President Anita Zalom, “and DPW [the Department of Public Works] put lights on the tree and lights all over town, but none of [the lights go] on.”
Instead, she said, the lights on the tree at borough hall are powered by the magic of song; the attendees are encouraged to raise their voices and sing Christmas carols in order to light up the tree.
“The tree is not lit until we have our tree lighting ceremony—we sing songs, carols [like] ‘Deck the Halls,’ ‘Joy to the World,’” she said. “And then when we sing ‘O, Christmas Tree, O, Christmas Tree,’ if they sing it nice enough, the lights will go on. They all come, they stand around the tree, I have my keyboard there and they have kids from the school to sing also.”
Ms. Zalom told The Ocean Star that the night is capped by the arrival of the North Pole’s own Santa Claus atop a fire engine.
“Santa Claus comes on the fire truck,” said Ms. Zalom. “If he hears us, and he sees the lights, he comes to town; then, everybody follows Santa Claus…He’ll ride around, he’ll stop and take pictures with the families—it’s a great night.”
She also said that the borough and the Lavallette Business Association are sharing seashells, decorated by the kids of Lavallette Elementary, to trim their respective trees.
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