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APP's features reporter Alex Biese participates in the Six Flags Polar Coaster Challenge to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey. Asbury Park Press

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JACKSON — The holiday cheer returns this month.

Holiday in the Park, the annual seasonal spectacular at Jackson thrill park Six Flags Great Adventure, will run on weekends and select days from Saturday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Jan. 3.

The park re-opened with COVID-19 safety precautions in place in July and those measures — including required masks for employees and guests, social distancing and sanitization efforts — remain in effect for Holiday in the Park.

“Holiday in the Park has become a family tradition with world-class entertainment for all ages and unparalleled thrills that only Six Flags Great Adventure can provide,” said park president John Winkler said in a statement. “Now more than ever before, families are yearning for safe ways to make new and lasting memories together.

"Six Flags is laser-focused on safety, and our comprehensive, new protocols have demonstrated that we can deliver the fun and thrills our guests expect in a clean, socially distanced and safe environment.”

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Kicking off with the previously announced Holiday Wine Fest on Saturday and Sunday, Holiday in the Park will bring 14 themed areas as part of the park's yearly makeover into a winter wonderland.

This year's edition of Holiday in the Park will introduce Jolly Jamboree, housed in the park's catering area, where guests can enjoy seasonal food and beverages, toast s'mores at fire pits and do a bit of shopping.

There will be light displays, costumed characters and select rides will be operating, weather permitting.

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The park will host a food drive to support FULFILL, the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Inc., on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22. Guests who bring at least six items between 1 and 4 p.m. either day will get a free ticket to the park's Holiday Craze Mirror Maze, and Six Flags members will earn 500 more points.

According to a news release, requested items for the food drive include canned goods, granola or cereal bars, fruit cups, individual servings of macaroni and cheese, baby food and juice boxes. Donations will be collected in the outer mall area of the park prior to entry and all items must be in their original seal or wrapper and not require refrigeration.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, park attendance will be monitored to avoid over-crowding.

In addition, all employees and attendees 2 years old and older will be required to wear masks covering their nose and mouth; there will be no indoor shows; hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the park; and park features including props, rides, restraints, handrails, dining and restroom facilities will be cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Attendance will be limited, and advance reservations are required. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sixflags.com/greatadventure.

Alex Biese has been writing about art, entertainment, culture and news on a local and national level for more than 15 years.

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