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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 24, 2008

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tom Plante, 908-527-4746


Enjoy the Holiday Lights Celebration & Charity Drive
plus a Nature Crafts Show in Watchung Reservation, Dec. 7


MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is happy to announce that Watchung Stable in Mountainside will host the annual Holiday Lights Celebration and Charity Drive on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 2:30- 5:00 p.m. while Trailside Nature and Science Center, also in Mountainside, will host the 25th annual Nature Crafts Show from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Visitors to the Holiday Lights Celebration at Watchung Stable are encouraged to bring an item of dry or canned food or a new, unwrapped toy to be distributed by local charities. Throughout the afternoon, participants can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy a petting zoo, lead-line horse rides, children’s crafts, holiday singers and refreshments. The Union County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit dogs will demonstrate their skills and County Police will be on hand to display the bomb squad robot and offer fingerprinting and D-Chips for youngsters.

“If you are planning to come with a youngster, don’t forget to bring a camera to take pictures with Santa,” said Freeholder Rick Proctor.

Many Union County employees will have a friendly competition again this year as they decorate themed trees. The decorations range from hats, scarves, mittens, dolls, sports toys and school supplies. Come cast your vote for your favorite tree! All items on the trees plus the trees themselves will be donated to families in need throughout Union County.

Weather permitting, horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered in the Union County Loop Playground area from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. The afternoon’s festivities will culminate with a tree and Menorah lighting at 5:00 p.m. at Watchung Stable.

Visitors to the Watchung Reservation on Sunday, Dec. 7, also are invited to celebrate the holidays at the 25th annual Nature Crafts Show at the Trailside Nature and Science Center. Shoppers will find unique hand-crafted gifts with nature themes at the show, including jewelry, wooden toys, bird houses, fiber arts, pottery, nature photography, original paintings and artwork, wreaths and ornaments, candles, pillows, frames, stained glass, holiday sweatshirts and baby sweaters, clothing accessories, purses, stocking stuffers and lots more for those on your gift list.

Watchung Stable, the Loop, and Trailside Nature & Science Center are within minutes of each other. A free bus service will shuttle between all three locations beginning at 2:00 p.m.

The Holiday Lights Celebration and the Nature Crafts Show will be held rain or shine. Admission is free. For additional information about these events, please call the Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal at 908-527-4900. For information about upcoming programs and special events at Trailside please call 908-789-3670 or visit us on our website at www.ucnj.org. Trailside Nature & Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road and Watchung Stable is located at 1160 Summit Lane in Mountainside. Both are services of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.