Cranbury lights up the Christmas season


Dorothy Klotzbeacher

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
The Christmas season in Cranbury started Friday with Santa Claus, children drinking hot chocolate, a tree lighting and, of course, “Mrs. K.”
Dorothy Klotzbeacher, the longtime teacher at the Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School, is a fixture at the annual event as the emcee of the Christmas carol sing-a-long in the old firehouse. In a building where firefighters once responded to emergencies, a throng of adults and children gathered on not quite a winter’s night to make merry.
“Will the Toto family come up,” Klotzbeacher said in introducing the first of 11 families to perform, in this case “Deck the Halls.” The Presbyterian Church Brass Choir provided the music, while a group of children lined the staircase of the firehouse watching it all.
Pat Borhs was conducting the band, which played everything from “O Come, All Ye Faithful” to “Frosty the Snowman,” the religious to the secular.
All that was missing was Norman Rockwell to record it all, but instead of painting, people raised their smart phones to take pictures to capture the memories.
Klotzbeacher has been doing this for 35 years, responsible for introducing each family who gets up to sing. Microphone in hand, she stood behind a podium, with a red scarf tied around her neck and a white hat on her head.
Later in the evening, Santa Claus arrived aboard a fire truck, with the children getting excited the most.
The main event was lighting the Christmas tree, one not as big as the tree in Rockefeller Center, but still enough for parents to take pictures of their children standing in front of it.
The Woman’s Club sponsored the night, which began earlier in the newer firehouse with club members passing out free cups of hot chocolate.
“Cranbury is one of the friendliest, warmest towns,” said club president Jane Elias.
“This,” Klotzbeacher would say later in the evening when it was all over, “is quite a town.”