Fort Lee officials have announced that the borough’s annual holiday tree lighting event at the Fort Lee Community Center will take place on Dec. 6, and the mayor says it’s going to be an “extra special” event.
“In the face of all that we’ve had to confront over the last several weeks, we’re going to try and have a family- and friend- and community-filled distraction and enjoy commemorating the holiday season with the whole community,” Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich said. “You may rest assured it’s going to be extra special this year because of the second year in a row having interrupted Halloween. We promised the kids something special, and we’re going to deliver for them.”
Halloween was essentially cancelled this year after Hurricane Sandy left widespread power outages, downed trees and power lines in its wake, prompting Sokolich to declare a state of emergency.
Last year, Halloween was just two days after a freak October snowstorm left Fort Lee with significant damage, albeit not on the scale of Sandy’s devastation, and at the very least disrupted trick-or-treating for many.
According to the Borough of Fort Lee’s website, this year’s tree lighting includes “hot chocolate, treats, DJ, music and more,” but Sokolich focused his remarks Tuesday on the “more” part, although he said he didn’t want to “give away any surprises.”
In addition to the roughly 35-foot tree, he said there’s also going to be a “trackless train” among the attractions.
“We’re even building a small little holiday village,” Sokolich said, noting that local businesses and donations are paying for “the lion’s share” of this year’s tree lighting and associated festivities.
“We need something the community can do to get together and celebrate together,” Sokolich said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun for the kids; there will be fun for all, and we’re expecting a lot of folks.”
The 2012 version of Fort Lee’s annual holiday tree lighting takes place Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Jack Alter Fort Lee Community Center, located at 1355 Inwood Terrace.