The addition of fireworks, a dance flash mob and the word spreading around town attracted the biggest crowd ever to Warren Township’s free 6th Annual Yuletide Bonfire and Fireworks Winter Festival on Saturday night, which Recreation Director Eleanora Hermann estimated was attended by about 1,500 area residents.

The evidence was confirmed in this year’s consumption of hot chocolate. “We went through 65 gallons of hot chocolate,” Hermann said.

Last year, when about a thousand people dropped by at some point for the growing community event, about 10 gallons less of hot chocolate lasted until the end of the evening, Hermann noted.

This January — even with more hot chocolate funded by the local Lions Club, with Starbucks donating 10 gallons of coffee, and Ciro’s Pizza of Warren providing containers for warm drinks — the free drinks ran out by the end of the night, she said.

Each year, she said, the recreation department, including herself and Linda Palumbo, try to add onto what is Warren Township’s largest winter event.

This year’s debut fireworks by Garden State Fireworks got off about 15 minutes late, but seemed to be appreciated by the crowd, said Hermann, adding she has been receiving many positive emails this weeks.

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