PAL’s Winter Festival returns this weekend

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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP- After having a successful inaugural event last year, the Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League staff  is gearing up for its second Winter Festival beginning this Friday, Dec. 14, and they’ve had to allot extra time for the preparations after Hurricane Sandy damaged parts of the Ready to Ride Park where it is held on Ridge Avenue.

The multi-day event is open 6-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16 and again Friday, Dec. 21- Sunday, Dec. 23. General admission and some activities such as the light show, visits with Santa and live Nativity presentations are free.

 “We were already working hard to expand the light show and displays for this year’s festival, but the added challenge has been the cleanup of storm damage to the park caused by Sandy. The start date had to be pushed back a bit, but we are very pleased to have the opportunity to bring this event back to the community this year,” said Hector Tavarez, the organization’s executive director.

The live Nativity was only on display for one night last year, he said, but this year will be offered twice, on Sundays, Dec. 16 and 23. They have also expanded the lights and decorations on display. Also new this year will be camel rides, which will carry a small fee per rider.

Back by popular demand is the animated light show programmed by volunteers and bonfires where the families can make s’mores.

Food selections available for purchase include George’s Famous Grill on the Go, which will offer with a wide assortment of food, and fried Oreos, an item that was very popular at PAL’s Fair For All in September, Tavarez said.

Also available for purchase are hot chocolate beverages, the s’mores ingredients, concession stand snacks, photos with Santa and crafts for the kids.

Proceeds benefit PAL’s holiday programs for kids, Tavarez said.  Donations of new, unwrapped toys are gratefully accepted and will be donated to needy children in the area. For more information, call (609) 645-8413.

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