was the place to be on Monday night and not just because it was the last meeting of the year. It was also the annual Christmas tree and menorah lighting ceremony held at Preventorium Rd.
The annual event featured not only the lighting of the traditional holiday symbols, but also some of the attractions residents have grown to know and love over the years. From the petting zoo where young residents could feed chickens, ducks, rabbits and even a cow, to all the hot chocolate and coffee you could drink on the cold winter night. The hot apple cider was also a welcome treat and went well with the fried oreos and funnel cakes that were once again for sale.
With limited parking at the event residents made the annual trip up the hill from the library, police station, or department of public works. For those who did not want to walk, a group of dedicated bus drivers did countless loops to bring them right to the fun.
For those who braved the cold, there was also plenty of entertainment. Two musical groups from Howell High School performed prior to the main event as did a choir of students from two of the local elementary schools.
Finally the time arrived for the tree and menorah to be lit. With Deputy Mayor William Gotto and soon to be sworn in Councilman Juan Malave in attendance, Councilman Robert Nicastro was chosen to do the honors. With the help of the chorus members Nicastro flipped the switch and the holiday season in Howell officially began.
Steven Fecher, the Director of Community Relations said the event was another big success as residents were shoulder to shoulder singing and dancing and waiting for the tree and menorah to be lit. With the event originally being rained out last week, Fecher said he was glad to see so many people in attendance.
With temperatures in the 30's, Fecher said they had made 40 gallons of hot chocolate for the event and had already gone through 30 before the lights on the tree and the candles in the menorah lit up the night.
This year's event may have been more of a memorable event than others in the past as it may be the last one held at Preventorium Rd. The township is working to move its municipal offices to a complex on Route 9 leaving in question where future lightings will be held.
Vote in our poll of where you think future events should be held.