With Santa Claus on the horizon, North Bergen’s 22nd Annual Winter Festival began with an influx of town’s people and children, approximately 2,500 and counting, and a parade starting from 85th to 76th street and Bergenline Avenue.
By Katherine Guest/Hudson County View
As ten city blocks were closed for this event, activities included: school chorus performances, rock climbing, and photographs with Santa Claus, Olaf, Elmo along with much more. To bring in the holiday cheer, students from the schools volunteered and played the characters in the costumes for the night, from 6pm-10pm.
“It’s a great night. It shows the town is working together between the Board of Education, the Police Department, and the mayor’s office. What we’re trying to do is make a nice festival for the town people and the kids,” highlighted Superintendent George J. Solter as North Bergen’s elementary students anticipated performing their musical ensemble. “People have been doing this along time to welcome in the winter season.”
Parents eagerly awaited and recorded their children’s performances that ranged from a dance routine to a Christmas Carol.
“Right now what’s going on is all the choirs from the school districts are going up to entertain the crowd. You can see that the choirs take the life of their choral director and everyone has a different way they approach it. One might be more folk; one might be more rock; one might be more classical; it’s all about interpretation,” Solter explained.
What started as a minuscule idea of just a holiday parade, ended up blossoming into a joyous festival that left smiles from cheek to cheek with help from North Bergen’s Board of Education, Police Department, and the Mayor’s office. Approximately 87 police officers volunteered their time on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.
“I had this idea 22 years ago to have a parade for the holidays. It grew from that on a Saturday afternoon to what you see here with all these activities and organizations. It makes North Bergen extremely special for the holidays,” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “Everyone is having such a great time.”
The DPW employees, Parking Authority, Library staff members, vendors and other members of the community, were amongst those who were on hand and thanked for their efforts that made the festival a success.