Tis' the season to be jolly and fill up our spirits with the joy of the holiday season, as was the case in downtown Toms River Friday where 250 students from the school district helped decorate the Christmas Tree downtown.

Why 250 students and ornaments? Toms River Township is kicking off a year full of celebrations in honor the Semiquincentennial (250th) anniversary in 2017.

Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (R-10) helped kick off the event outdoors by asking everyone in attendance one question.

"Raise your hand if you think Toms River is older than the United States of America," said McGuckin. "For those of you who said Toms River, your correct. Toms River is 250 years old and was founded in 1767, nine years before the declaration of independence."

The weather Friday morning was very reminiscent of a typical winter morning with the wind blowing and the chill in the air, but that didn't stop everyone from enjoying the celebration and celebrating history.

"This event is great, it involves our kids from Toms River schools," said Toms River Council President Brian Kubiel. "Every school is involved and we get to decorate the tree with 250 ornaments so that we make sure we recognize our founding fathers."

Kubiel adds that the lighting of the Christmas Tree outside takes place just after 6 pm on Friday evening.

With students representing all of the schools in the district, Superintendent David Healy smiled at seeing so many of them participate in something that helps celebrate the townships history.

Healy credits the success of the event to the tight relationship the schools have with township officials.

"It's a testament to the pride of Toms River and how the school district and the township has historically worked very closely and well together," said Healy.

He adds that the ornaments the students were decorating the trees with were made in schools with the assistance of their teachers.


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