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North Bergen officials and Santa Claus lit the township's 'Holiday Tree' on December 7. Photo courtesy of the township.

Hudson municipalities hold annual Christmas tree lightings

On Dec. 8, the city of Hoboken in conjunction with the city’s Business Alliance held the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on this Thursday, Dec. 8. The event took place at 11th and Washington streets.

Santa Claus arrived not on a sleigh but atop a North Bergen Police Department vehicle for the annual North Bergen tree-lighting ceremony in Braddock Park on Wednesday, Dec. 7. County Commissioner and master of ceremonies Anthony Vainieri joined with Mayor Nicholas Sacco to welcome Santa and together they counted down to the lighting of the tree.

The North Bergen High School chorus performed a set of holiday songs. Free hot chocolate and snacks were available while everyone eagerly took photos with the tree and Santa. Also participating in the event were Township Commissioners Hugo Cabrera, Frank Gargiulo, Julio Marenco and Allen Pascual, Police Chief Peter Fasilis, Schools Superintendent Dr. George Solter, Township Administrator Janet Castro, EMS Director David Prina, Sheriff Frank Schillari and many more local and regional officials.

On Dec. 4, Weehawken lit its Christmas tree in front of Town Hall at 400 Park Ave. with music by local students including the Weehawken High School Marching Band, the High School chorus and local elementary school choirs. Mayor Richard Turner and the Township Council wished all residents a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, as well as a Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Hanukkah.

West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, Commissioner Margarita Guzman and the Board of Commissioners as well as a number of residents came out for the annual Holiday Tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 4 at 60th Street and Boulevard East. Free hot chocolate and cookies and live entertainment rang out the celebration.

In Secaucus, the town held its Christmas in Secaucus event featuring a Holiday Parade with Santa and a Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 3. The event, which began with the parade at the Library parking lot and proceeded to Plaza Center, featured music, refreshments and even pictures with Santa at the Recreation Center on Koelle Boulevard.

In Union City, Mayor Brian Stack and the Board of Commissioners, in conjunction with Hudson County and the Washington Park Association, and many residents in attendance, held the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1 at Washington Park on New York Avenue between Paterson Plank Road and 2nd Street. There was live entertainment at the free admission event.

Read the full story at hudsonreporter.com.

North Bergen hosts 28th annual Winterfest Celebration

North Bergen kicked off the holiday season on Dec. 1 with the return of its annual Winterfest celebration, which saw thousands in attendance. The festivities began as usual with a parade down Bergenline Avenue and featured family-friendly music, activities, games, food and, of course, Santa.

After that, annual Winterfest festivities took place at locations in midtown and downtown on Tuesday, Dec. 6. There was more entertainment including free rides, games, face painting, refreshments, goody bag giveaways and choruses from Franklin, McKinley and Kennedy schools. Plus, there wwew free photos with Santa.

Following that, Sacco and the Board of Commissioners were scheduled to present North Bergen’s first Holiday Vendor Fair on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Recreation Center at 6300 Meadowview Ave.

Read the full story at hudsonreporter.com.

Kids ride NY Waterway ferries for free for the holidays

The New York Waterway ferry from Hudson County to New York City is offering free rides to kids this winter. The offer is valid for children under 12 years old on all ferry routes with the exception of the Metro-North routes.

There is a limit of two children for each paying adult. No limit to the number of free trips. The offer is valid through Jan. 1, 2023.

North Bergen holding holiday toy drive

Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners announced the 2022 Toy Drive benefiting local children in need. The drive has been ongoing since Monday, Nov. 28, and will run to Friday, Dec. 16.

Collection points are located at multiple locations throughout North Bergen. Bring new, unwrapped toys to the North Bergen Health Department at 1116 43rd St. on the second floor; the North Bergen Town Hall at 4233 Kennedy Blvd. in the municipal chambers; the North Bergen Police Department at 4233 Kennedy Blvd., on the second floor; the North Bergen Parking Authority at 4225 Bergen Turnpike; the North Bergen Public Library main branch, at 8411 Bergenline Ave.; the Recreation Center and Library at 1231 Kennedy Blvd.; and all North Bergen schools.

The giveaway will be held on Monday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the North Bergen Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave. Proof of residency and child’s report card are required to participate.

For any family in need of a meal or toys for the holiday, call Aimee Focaraccio at 201-392-0229 or email afocaraccio@northbergen.org.

West New York announces tax sale

The Town of West New York has announced the sale of 2022 and prior year delinquent taxes and other municipal charges through an online auction on Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. For a listing of all parcels, delinquencies and costs, along with bidding instructions, visit westnewyork.newjerseytaxsale.com. Information can be viewed free of charge.

Santa attends holiday party for kids with special needs

North Bergen’s Special Needs Program held a holiday party at the Nutrition Center on Wednesday, Dec. 7. A large group of kids of various ages attended the event and enjoyed live DJ entertainment, pizza, snacks, popcorn, drinks, dessert and more.

Special guest Santa Claus posed for pictures with all the attendees, with instant photos to take home from a photo booth. In addition, everyone took home a wrapped holiday gift, courtesy of the township.

The annual party was arranged and coordinated by Lisa Lagomarsino. To enroll any North Bergen kids in the program, email Lagomarsino at LLagomarsino@northbergen.org.

West New York to hold Holiday Decorating Contest

Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, Commissioner Margarita Guzman and the Board of Commissioners invite residents to participate in the town’s Holiday Decorating Contest.

Prizes will be given for Best Decorated Home, Best Decorated Window, Best Decorated Building Lobby, Best Decorated Block and Best Decorated Commercial Storefront. Anyone interested in signing up can call Cultural Affairs, 201-295-5270 or 5101 or email culturalaffairs@westnewyorknj.org.

‘Christmas at Ellsworth Park’

Union City Mayor Brian Stack and the Board of Commissioners invite residents to Christmas at Ellsworth Park at 24th Street and Palisade Avenue, at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15. There will be live entertainment and admission is free.

Meadowview Village visited by Santa and the Grinch

Santa Claus and the Grinch vied for attention at the annual Meadowview Village tree-lighting ceremony on Monday, Dec. 5, with kids eager for photos with both. The two characters joined North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco in lighting the tree, along with Commissioners Hugo Cabrera, Julio Marenco and Allen Pascual as well as state Assemblyman Pedro Mejia and Housing Authority Executive Director Gerald Sanzari.

Lights illuminated the decorated tree planted seven years ago next to the recreation courts. Inside the Meadowview Village community room, families enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies and snacks while playing games and coloring seasonal images.

Local children also got to write down their wish lists of holiday gifts and drop them in a mailbox direct to the North Pole. Santa will be delivering one present from each list to the kids this Christmas, with some help from the township and NBHA.

Union City cuts ribbon on Peter Street

On Dec. 2, Union City official marked the opening of a new road in the city known as Peter Street. Located between Palisade Avenue and Hudson Avenue, Mayor Brian Stack touted the street that adds new amenities including 28 new parking spaces, a small gazebo with seating and new decorative lighting, street trees and two dog runs.

According to Stack, the city bought a formerly rundown property and transformed its driveway into a nice street. Previously, Peter Street was only a one-way road running east from Hudson Avenue to Pleasant Avenue.

Now the new portion of the street from Palisade Avenue to Hudson Avenue will provide extra circulation for the uptown area of Union City, Stack said. The grand opening featured live music by The James Austin Jr. Trio as well as free refreshments and admission.

Read the full story at hudsonreporter.com

Gift giveaways for North Bergen youth at holiday party

The annual Recreation Christmas Party for North Bergen was held on Dec. 3, featuring hundreds of kids and their families filling the Recreation Center auditorium on Meadowview Avenue to enjoy free musical performances and dance-along with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Elsa, Mario and other favorite characters. They were also treated to free candy apples, cookies, juice and goody bags, but all of that was just the appetizer.
The main event was the appearance of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, followed by the distribution of more than 1,000 free toys to the kids. Dozens of kids won raffles for free bicycles, with everyone else given a chance to pick their own gift from a selection of age-appropriate choices. Some parents also won many free, fully decorated Christmas trees.
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