In hopes of returning some "normalcy" to the battered Silverton section of Toms River, residents there will celebrate the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting on Saturday night.
Many homes in the area are uninhabitable or only semi-habitable after flood waters entered homes when Hurricane Sandy struck, according to Township Clerk and historian Mark Mutter. Construction continues "all around" Silverton while others wait for insurance adjusters, he said.
"My neighbors decided we needed some normalcy and have decided to have a Silverton Christmas tree lighting," said Mutter, a life-long Silverton resident whose home was deemed a total loss from the storm and will be demolished after the holiday season.
"Peoples’ lives still not back to normal," he said. "This shall be a Christmas we shall all remember."
The tree, which will be delivered by the Silverton Fire Company and special guest Santa to Crowell Street, will be illuminated at 7 p.m. The fire company, which faces equipment losses and damage to its headquarters from Sandy, is selling trees at its 15 Kettle Creek Rd. location.
"We don't want to upset are community with no trees this year and Santa Claus. Please let the community know Silverton is proud to announce our annual Christmas tree sale ... Hurricane Sandy will never stop the Silverton Fire Company from anything," Lt. Michael Cocco said last week.
The township held its tree lighting ceremony last week in Toms River's downtown. The event was seen by officials as another way for residents to gain a sense of normalcy after the storm, especially after it forced the cancellation of the township's annual and celebrated Halloween and Veterans Day parades.