BY NOAH CASTAGNA
On Friday Cooper City kicked off the holiday season with the annual Light Up Cooper City, treating residents to bright lights, sweets, and meet and greets. The night began at 6pm with the CCHS Sound of Pride leading Santa Claus into Cooper City Memorial Park with a performance of “Jingle Bell Jog.”
“Light Up Cooper City is a great way to bring the community together,” CCHS Sound of Pride member Cole Frishman said. “I love the holiday atmosphere.”
The event spanned from Memorial Park to the Community Center and provided many Cooper City organizations the opportunity to raise funds, entertain, and contribute; a train ride and craft sales were hosted at the Cooper City recreation center, various choirs from all across the city performed, CCHS’s NJROTC patrolled the park assisting however they could, the Sound of Pride sold hamburgers and hotdogs, and Pioneer Middle School’s band sold desserts and held a concert for guests.
“Preparing goods for Light Up Cooper City was really fun,” Pioneer Middle student Chase Perrotta said. “It felt good to give back.”
Alongside the fundraisers and entertainment, Cooper City captured the holiday spirit of giving by holding a canned food drive at the event, led by Santa Claus himself. Children ages one to eight had a chance to meet and take a picture with Santa, and visiting patrons were encouraged to bring in canned food items to benefit local food banks during this sometimes difficult time of the year.
“Bringing joy is the second greatest thing of all, next to feeding all of the children of the world,” holiday icon Kris Kringle said.
For many CCHS students, Light Up Cooper City was a way to connect with the community, friends, and family. And for some other CCHS students, this is the last “winter” they’ll be spending in Cooper City; Light Up Cooper City was one last holiday hurrah.
“I’m here at Light Up Cooper City because it’s my last year and I wanted to spend it with my friends,” CCHS Senior Alex Mumby said.