Menorah, Tree Lighting Celebrate Holidays in Hopatcong

Families gather to see Santa, enjoy holiday spirit.

More than 100 residents braved the cold and rainy temperatures Sunday evening and came together to celebrate the holiday season.

Starting the celebrations off was a Menorah lighting for the second night of Hanukkah at the Municipal Building, followed by latkes at the Lake Hopatcong Community Jewish Center.

Later in the evening, residents filled Borough Hall and listened to Christmas carols by the Byram Bay Christian Church  and Joe Tree before the tree was lit.

Families warmed up with hot chocolate as Santa arrived on a Hopatcong Fire Department truck where he handed out candy to the children.

Michele Guttenberger December 11, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Yes, again the the Byram Bay Christian Church and Joe Tree too sing their non denominational but Jesus exclusive Christmas Carols. In all my Catholic upbringing I have never heard the Song - Today is Jesus's Birthday but I did get to hear the first time at Public Tree lighting in Hopatcong. Always the BBCC church that gets Hopatcong's Spotlight what happened to the other Christian Churches of our town why doesn't the Mayor call on them to be in the celebration? They have choral groups in their church too. Maybe they would sing more inclusive songs like "Oh Christmas Tree" and make the small Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist business owners that have made a commitment to Hopatcong feel welcomed in our town. After all, they are the the few enterprising people willing" to do business in Hopatcong despite all the challenges our town presents them. To these non Christians I say "Merry Christmas to you" because you have shown peace and goodwill to your neighbor and there is place for you in Heaven too despite what these Evangelists' have been preaching.
The Watcher December 12, 2012 at 04:38 AM
The replica will encircle the tree and Menorah. Unfortunately we ran out of money to do it this year because of the extensive work on the memorial. The solar panels on the cross pieces will enable us to light the Christmas tree and Menorah (of course with no added expense to the taxpayer). There will be a drumming circle for the ceremonies. Whomever is up for re-election will of course be in charge.
lucille sarinelli December 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM
When are we going to see a Nativity scene at the tree and Menorah lighting, after all what are we celebrating here? It's Christmas, Jesus's birthday . Lucille Sarinelli
Michele Guttenberger December 12, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Lucille there is a Nativity Scene in town. It is at St Jude's Roman Catholic church. Don't deprive yourself of these Religious Treasures in our town just because they are not displayed on Municipal Property. Visit St Jude's Church - the first Christian church to celebrate the birth of Jesus for over a 1,000 years. They have had a lot of practice with their religious depictions and nativity scene displays and it shows. I'm sure their Hopatcong Nativity scene is just as nice as the one in Rome. So don't pass up the opportunity to visit this church in Town in all its splendor for Christmas. I hear they welcome guests to their Christmas Celebrations.
The Watcher December 13, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Lucille, a Nativity scene is a religious depiction and not allowed on municipal property that would also go along with singing carols with religious themes. Since the mayor and council set a precedent with BBCC allowed to have many of its religious functions in the park, I don't see why we can't have a Nativity scene there (perhaps in the gazebo). I think people should call the mayor and suggest it.


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