After one year of virtual celebrating (2020) and then another year with scaled back activities (2021), ‘tis once again the season to celebrate the annual — and all out —Kearny Tree Lighting Festival Thursday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The evening begins on the steps of Town Hall, 402 Kearny Ave., with a concert featuring local performers of all ages, including the Kearny High School Ensemble, the West Hudson Arts & Theater Company Chorus, Roosevelt and Schuyler schools Choral Groups, the Next Step School of Dance, the Hudson Arts & Sciences Choral Group, Franklin School Choral Group, Paz Music Academy students and the Kearny Middle School and Kearny High school Chorus.
At 6:30 p.m., Santa arrives to help Mayor Alberto G. Santos, along with members of the Town Council, light the tree.
Festivities then move to Town Hall Park, where Santa, joined by Mrs. Claus and their elves, will be on hand for photo ops with children (12 and younger) until 8:30 p.m. Santa will hand out holiday gifts and goodies (while supplies last.)
The merry making continues throughout the park with free events and activities until 8:30 p.m.
“This all happens thanks to the amazing support we get each year from both the KUEZ business community and local civic organizations,” John Peneda, coordinator of the KUEZ, said.
In the park, families may enjoy performances on the Jingle Bell Stage, where special guests Mirabel and Isabella will perform and then be on hand for a meet and greet. Also featured will be the West Hudson Christian Chorus and local Kearny soloist Gabriel Do Los Santos, among others. Other activities include face painting, holiday craft making, the return of the life-sized snow globe, a special Letters to Santa station and so much more.
The KUEZ will also be on hand with its annual giant toy raffle.
Please note: Kearny Avenue will be closed between Liberty Street and Quincy Avenue throughout the event, which occurs rain or shine.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.