Montclair organizations receive donations from Holiday Lights Spectacular
The annual Essex County Holiday Lights Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo amassed more than 18 tons of non-perishable food, clothing and toys to be distributed to organizations around the county, including two in Montclair — the Salvation Army of Montclair and Toni’s Kitchen.
“It is humbling to see the large number of items dropped off at the holiday lights Spectacular to assist the less fortunate," Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. said in a county press release. "These donations show the generous spirit and caring that exists in our community and certainly helped make a difference during the holiday season to those who need assistance."
Donations collected over the years have amounted to over 130 tons of non-perishable food, 345,000 toys and 20,000 winter coats. The largest Holiday Lights Spectacular attendance was 131,594 people and the most donations collected was 24.5 tons, both coming in 2015.
About 50 animal and holiday-themed figures lit up the winter night in Turtle Back Zoo and the surrounding Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, the release said. Over one million lights illuminated figures of giraffes, bears, tigers and elephants, along with holiday lights designed to look like wooden soldiers, stars and winter scenes.