The 20th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting for the Jersey Shore Arts Center, Ocean Grove (former Neptune High School) was held on Mon., Nov. 28 with an audience of over 300 in the Joseph A. Palaia Theater.
The program featured the Shoreline Dance Academy Senior Dance group performing the Lord’s Prayer and the junior group dancing to holiday music. The LaStrada Theater Company of the Jersey Shore Arts Center followed with cast members offering their moments of Christmas’ past. LaStrada then read Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” to the delight of the children and the adults.
Herbert Herbst, president of the Arts Center introduced their special guest Santa Claus to light the 16-foot Christmas tree. With a “Ho Ho Ho” and a count of five by Santa brought the tree’s more than 3000 lights to life and Santa, the audience and the JSAC staff and volunteer sang Mohr and Gruber’s “Silent Night.”
Next the 40-member Atlantic Wind Ensemble lead by Director Dennis Eschbach and Director Emeritus Harry Eichhorn presented a wonderful selection of holiday and popular music. A reception ended the evening with refreshments provided by the Arts Center Volunteers.
“We are very proud to cap off the 2016 Autumn Theater Season, one of our best attended seasons to date, by carrying on the tradition of the tree lighting” said Herbert Herbst, OGHPS President. “This building and organization has come a long way since our first tree lighting 20 years ago. Remember the disrepair and decay the building was in when our group of volunteers took over, it really brings me joy seeing the building being enjoyed by so many.”
The three floors of the building are beautifully decorated for the holiday and the public is encouraged to visit and view the decorations. An evening of merriment, good fellowship and holiday spirit was enjoyed by all.
The Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove has a mission to save and restore their beautiful and historic building (the “old” Neptune High School) that is currently home to the Jersey Shore Arts Center, and to operate the arts center in support of local artists and arts educators. The Jersey Shore Arts Center provides accessible space for artists, and arts related educators and community groups who in turn develop opportunities for the broader Jersey Shore community to experience and engage with the Arts.
For more information on the Jersey Shore Arts Center’s programs or history visit www.JerseyShoreArtsCenter.org.