Toms River is celebrating its 250th anniversary, and things will kick off this Friday night with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The event will include a performance by the Donovan Catholic High School chorus and Mrs. Claus reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas,"  and conclude with the arrival of Santa Claus and the lighting of the tree.

Photos with Santa are available and there will be hot chocolate and cookies for sale, with the sales benefiting Toms River Fire Company 1.

In addition to the tree in the Town Hall Courtyard, the township's tree inside Town Hall will include 250th anniversary-themed ornaments created by students from Toms River's schools.

The tree lighting festivities is sponsored by Downtown Toms River.

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