Rutherford Kicks off the Holiday Season
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photo credits: Jennifer Mazone, Jennifer Ersalesi, Erin Tiffner, and Dan Meredith
The Rutherford Holiday Parade, organized by the Rutherford Chamber of Commerce, took place on Saturday, November 30th. The parade started at Beech Street and Union Ave and ended at Lincoln Park. James Rizzo, Grand Marshal of the Parade and Director of BCB Bank, told TIR, "Traditional celebrations are important, they help bring communities together. It gives us an opportunity to share and learn about all people in a positive way. It also brings the community together in an exciting positive and nostalgic atmosphere."
At the conclusion of the parade, the tree in front of the Rutherford Public Library and the Mayor and Councilmembers, James Rizzo (the Grand Marshal), and Recreation Director, Jessica Lozcano, recognized the beginning of the holiday season.
James Rizzo explained, "I am both humbled and honored to have been chosen. There are no words to express how proud I am to be able to kick off the holiday season in my hometown. I was actually surprised to hear that I had been selected. It is an honor to be chosen for doing what others consider to be extraordinary, but what I believe to be just doing what is right, supporting all of the organizations that make Rutherford what it is."
The Hungry Humvee was set up by the Rutherford Police Department at the beginning and end of the parade route. All were invited to donate nonperishable food items, cleaning products and toiletries for the Rutherford Food Pantry.
Throughout Lincoln Park, there was a festive Holiday Village, organized by the Rutherford Recreation Department and Cliffhanger Productions, where children and adults enjoyed music, a visit from Olaf, Elsa, and two of the Trolls characters, and a number of other activities. Visitors had the opportunity to visit Santa and get their photos taken, listen to stories by Mrs. Claus, enjoy hot chocolate and goodies sold by Project Graduation and popcorn from the Boy Scouts, make crafts with the Girl Scouts and take rides on the horse drawn carriage and trackless train.
The Annual Holiday Parade and Holiday Village mark the beginning of the holiday season in Rutherford.