Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, November 28, 2011

Battery of events this week launches Holiday season

'Ready for my closeup, Mr. deMille'. This West 8th mansion, lovingly restored
(here a new roof), is among those featured in Sunday's house tour.

The end-of-year Holiday season gets under way in Plainfield this week with a battery of not-to-miss events.


Friday, December 2. 6:00 PM. Plainfield's traditional Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on City Hall steps, corner of Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street.

Special guests and choirs will provide an exciting event including carols, a visit from Santa (and pictures with Santa), plus hot chocolate provided by Plainfield's Salvation Army Citadel. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on December 9.


Saturday, December 3. 3:00 PM. At Shiloh Baptist Church, West 4th Street at Liberty Street. Thrill to music of the season as the Plainfield Symphony and Shiloh's Choirs join to celebrate Christmas! With guest conductor Michael Avigliano, choir director Wendell Woods and soloist Kian Freitas.

Selections include Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus' as well as classical, choral and Gospel favorites, including Leroy Anderson and Quincy Jones.

Tickets: $40/reserved, $25/regular seating, $20/Senior, $10 student. Tickets may be purchased online at the Plainfield Symphony website here, or at the website of Shiloh Baptist Church here.

Sunday, December 4. Noon to 6:00 PM (Tickets available up to 4:30 PM). Pick up map and start tour at 946 Madison Avenue. Nine of the Van Wyck Brooks' Historic Districts magnificent homes will be open to visitors in all their holiday splendor.

This is always one of Plainfield's biggest draws, with throngs of visitors from the tri-state area. Three of the District's resident artists -- photographer Richard Lear, landscapist Gerry Heydt, and Maria Mijares, who does large transportation-themed installations -- will be taking part, with selections of their work on view and available for purchase. This year there will also be limited quantities of the District's 2012 calendar and a special commemorative Christmas tree ornament.

Tickets are $20/advance and $25/day of tour. Tickets may be purchased online at the Van Wyck Brooks HD website here through December 3, or in person at Swain Gallery, Watchung Avenue at East 7th Street; or Ahrre's Coffee Roastery, 104 Elm Street, Westfield.

Sunday, December 4. 5:00 PM. At Grace Episcopal Church, East 7th Street at Cleveland Avenue (between Park and Watchung Avenues). The traditional Anglican service of Lessons and Carols traces, in carols, congregational hymns and Scripture readings, the arc of salvation history culminating in God's gift of Jesus the Christ.

Featuring the Grace Church choir under the directions of organist and choirmaster Robert Gangewere, with the Rev. Carolyn Eklund, Grace's Rector, leading the service.

This is the perfect way to end a day on the House Tour, with a reflective service by candlelight in historic Grace Church.

The service is free and open to all. Parking is available in the public parking lot across 7th Street from the church. There will be a light reception following the service in the Parish Hall. More information at the parish website here.


Saturday, December 10 (9:00 AM - 4:00 PM) and Sunday, December 11 (11:00 AM - 4:00 PM). At the historic First Unitarian Society of Plainfield (FUSP), 724 Park Avenue. Local crafters and artists' handmade gifts are among the best buys for the season.

Homemade treats, Kids craft activities, Fair Trade items, demonstrations, craft raffles and coffee/dessert/lunches.

The Fair is free and open to all. Proceeds from the Fair support the congregation's work and community outreach. More information at the parish website here.

Saturday, December 10, Noon - 3:00 PM. Two Staging Locations: Downtown at Parklet near McDonalds on West Front Street; South Avenue at Plainwood Square Park (between Leland and Terrill).

Join in this community fun day of an old-fashioned horse & wagon ride, with goody bags for all participants courtesy of Plainfield SID merchants. Bring your camera and take picture of the kids with Santa (Downtown: Noon - 1:15 PM; South Avenue: 1:45 - 3:00 PM).

The rides are free and open to all. Entry forms at both locations will be put in a drawing for a Giant Toy-Filled Christmas Stocking, to be awarded at Plainwood Square Park at 3:00 PM.

Sunday, December 11, 5:30 PM. At Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, corner of Watchung Avenue and East 7th Street.

The Crescent Singers present their annual gift of holiday music of all ages to the community.

Free and open to all (donations gratefully appreciated).

Parking available at Swain Galleries across the street or in the church lot on First Place.

For more information, see Crescent Concerts' website here.

Wednesday, December 14, 6:00 - 9:00 PM. At the YWCA, corner of East Front and Church Streets (one block east of Watchung Avenue).

The 'hanging of the greens' is a tradition of the Plainfield YWCA that harks back to 1924 and marks the beginning of the holiday season. It originated when single women lived at the YWCA and gathered together to decorate the striking octagonal entry hall of the landmarked Tudor Revivial building. Though the YWCA no longer houses young women, the event continues and offers an opportunity for staff, Board and program clients to gather together to thank the YW's supporters and friends and celebrate the holiday season.

There will be music and refreshments as well as information about the YWCA's programs and an opportunity to meet Board and staff.

For more information, call (908) 756-3500 x127 or visit the website here. To help celebrate 105 years of service to the greater Plainfield community by making a gift in support of programs, call Development Director Dana Wilson at (908) 756-3500 x128, (732) 277-8184 (cell), or email her at

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Again Dan thanks so much for the information provided. More positive information