Spring Lake’s Christmas Train Village
By Sharon Merkel Prudhomme ~
An annual hearty THANK YOU screams out to Rich Clayton and Pete Casagrande of Clayton’s Limousine Service of Spring Lake! At one time a tiny window display in Clayton’s storefront office windows to what has grown into a HUGE spectacular MUST see event now located in Duggan Hall, 313 Washington Ave., Spring Lake.
The work that goes on behind the scene is amazing! The detail and precision for timing, switching trains, lights & action is quite a technological feat! And what says Christmas time better than a good old fashioned model train display?! I remember as a child coming down the stairs to find a train set up and running under the tree. The little houses, tiny people, trees and a wonderful Lionel train chugging along.
Of course later down the road we found out it was granddad not Santa who worked swiftly to set it all up before slumbering grandchildren awoke! Along with the trains was the distinctive wafting odor of the transformer….often we catch a whiff of a similar smell which sweeps back up a slew of warm memories.
Kids of all ages get a kick out of watching the trains switching tracks and chugging along. Thanks to Clayton’s Limousine Service, this spectacular display sits on a 440 square foot platform with lots of running trains, as well as an animated Ferris wheel, mini hot air balloons, a working water fountain, buildings, lakes, bridges, automobiles and so much more. Everyone is encouraged to welcome in the holiday spirit the old fashioned way!
The display is free of charge for all to visit, but donations are accepted. All donations will benefit Common Ground Grief Center. Businesses in Spring Lake participate by donating a set amount which allows them to “claim” and place their name on the building. Happy to say, all have been claimed this year….contact Clayton’s for your shot at next year.
On my visit, I was smiling away as I watched the young mom’s filing in with youngins’ in tow. The saucer wide eyes of wonder made it all worthwhile! Not a whisper could be heard as the overwhelming action going on in each and every square inch of this little town catches and holds the attention of even the most fidgety.
Please consider a small (or large) donation when visiting this amazing display!
Duggan Hall 313 Washington Ave. Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Open 7 days a week from 12 noon – 5:00 pm