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Barron Arts Center Model Train Exhibit Opens its 21st Year

The traditional Woodbridge holiday event draws crowds from around the state.

After 21 years of one of the best Christmas exhibits in the state, the is a holiday tradition not just for Woodbridge, but for families everywhere.

The model train exhibit opened again this year after the lighting of the town's annual Christmas tree on the property, and more than 300 people joined in to celebrate the opening of the Yuletide event.

"It's a beautiful holiday tradition that Woodbridge always has," said Brandon Powell, the Barron Art Center's program coordinator.

This year, the choir and marching band turned up to sing traditional holiday carols, while Santa and Mrs. Claus also were there to remind children of the Christmas countdown. 

, one of the township's local supermarkets, provied refreshments for the crowd, Powell said.

Speaking of which, the addition of a Wegman's sign to the model train exhibit was just one of the new additions that Mike Gelesky, the leader and curator of the train display, added to freshen up the exhibition. 

Gelesky, a Colonia native, has been crafting the train display for more than two decades. Every year, he adds a few new things to keep the display new and to delight the parents and children who flock to see the exhibit.

"This year, one of the buildings in the exhibit is the Club at Woodbridge," said Powell. "They are a sponsor of the event."

The has a water tower, as well as the new Wegman's sign, all of which have been added to the display.

Another cool addition is a closed circuit camera on the top of one of the trains. "It's broadcast on a closed circuit TV, so the kids can see themselves as the train goes by," Powell said. "They love it."

The model train exhibit runs through Dec. 29. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm, and weekends from 2 pm to 4 pm.  Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable items to help keep the township's food bank stocked for the less fortunate. The show will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more information, call 732-634-0413.

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