Greater Morristown weekend preview: A colossal mural, a special fundraiser, holiday music and more

Compiled by Katrina Langer

See a colossal mural by Morristown High School freshmen. See a smashing chorus. See Batlting Bands. See a Nutcracker. See Santa.

There is no shortage of things to do in Greater Morristown this weekend!  A sampling is below.

For even more ideas, check out our festive calendar.

THURSDAY, DEC. 13, 2012:

This week’s Music at Noon, sponsored by Music At Morristown United Methodist Church, features Eric Plutz, organist. A light luncheon is available at 11:30 am before the concert, or 1:30 pm after the concert. The lunch is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students. December concerts are free to the public. Free childcare is also available during the concert. At 50 Park Place, on the Green. For more info, call 972-538-2132.


Check out Morristown High School’s innovative Sol LeWitt conceptual art project, a highlight of the quarterly Art Around the Park free, self-guided gallery tour, from 5 pm to 8 pm. Freshmen created 10 giant panels inspired by the late artist Sol LeWitt; the project challenged the students from the very first day of their high school careers. The panels will be displayed at the Gallery at 14 Maple, where MHS teacher and project leader John Madden will field questions.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes video of the project:

Art Around the Park is a collaboration of the Arts Council of the Morris Area and the Simon Gallery, one of seven venues on the gallery tour, at 48 Bank St.  Others are: The Atrium Gallery (10 Court St.), Citibank (30 W. Park Place), Hyatt Morristown’s eclectic Grill (3 Speedwell Ave.), J&K Steakhouse (56B South St.) and Sweet Lucy’s Bakery (56A South St.). Maps and information may be obtained at the exhibition spaces or at For additional information, contact the Simon Gallery at (973) 538-5456.

Detail from mural created by Morristown High School freshmen. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Detail from mural created by Morristown High School freshmen. The mural will be displayed on Dec. 14 at Art Around the Park. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The Battle of the Bands for First Night Morris 2013 kicks off at 5:30 pm at the Morristown Deli. Ben Rhodes, formerly of Charlie & the Vanilla Faces, Electric Blue Sunrise and Nick Dickey, will perform in a contest that you will vote on. The fan favorites will play on New Year’s Eve at First Night.  Ben pitched in last year at a local benefit for Alabama tornado victims; thank him by cheering for him at the Morristown Deli!

Friends of Kerry O’Connor are gathering at Hennessey’s Washington Bar this evening to raise money for her upcoming pancreas transplant. Best known as the kid sister of Morristown High School grads Chris (’95) and Sean (’97) O’Connor, Kerry has a rare, debilitating form of diabetes. The transplant is her best chance; the 31-year-old woman has been accepted into the University of Minnesota Medical Center transplant program and her family says it will be a long, expensive stay. For details on how to help, see

Take part in a treasured holiday tradition at the Mayo Performing Arts Center: The New Jersey Ballet presents The Nutcracker, starting at 6 pm and running through Christmas Eve at 10 am. Ages 4 and above, tickets are $25-$59. At 100 South Street Morristown, NJ. Call 973-539-8008 to learn more.

It’s open stage night at The Minstrel in Morris Township, at 8 pm. Although all the reserved slots are taken, there will be a lottery for those who arrive by 7:45 pm. Sets are 15 minutes long. The Minstrel is run by the Folk Project, in the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit the Open Stage page. There is no show next week. Admission prices are increasing to $8 in 2013, a rise of $1.

Make sure to bring a designated driver while enjoying Morristown’s holiday nightlife: Police are planning roving patrols and sobriety checkpoints around town between 9 pm and 3 am. “The goal is to discourage people from driving impaired. It is also intended to promote awareness and to keep our roadways safe for the citizens of Morristown throughout the holiday season,” police said in a statement. The effort is funded by the N.J. Division of Highway Traffic Safety, as part of the national Drunk Driving Enforcement Program.


Hard to believe, but it’s already weekend three of The Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green.  Today’s schedule:

  • Noon – 3 pm, and 4 pm – 7 pm: Santa Visits & Photos
  • 1 pm – 7 pm – Electric Train Rides
  • 1 pm – 3 pm Gingerbread House Making
  • 4 pm -7 pm – Snowflake Making Craft
  • Noon – 7 pm – Unique Belgique Waffle Sales by The Run-A-Ton Group, to benefit the Community Soup Kitchen
Gwyneth Mooney, Allison Faulkner and Marissa Mae Chalker of The Thirteen, singing at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown on Nov. 3. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Gwyneth Mooney, Allison Faulkner and Marissa Mae Chalker of The Thirteen return to the Presbyterian Church in Morristown on Dec. 14. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Music on the Green at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown presents We Wish You a Thirteen Christmas featuring The Thirteen, a choral group from the Princeton area. These singers performed here last month, and they were superb. Celebrate the season in song from 7 pm to 8 pm at 57 Park Place in Morristown. Admission is a free will donation. Call 973-538-1776 for more info.


chef melody

Melody McGinley Whitelaw, Morristown's caterer to the star's, will host a fun kids cooking class on the Green on Dec. 16.

The Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green continues:

  • Noon – 3 pm, and 4 pm – 7 pm – Santa Visits & Photos
  • 1 pm – 7 pm – Electric Train Rides
  • 1 pm -3 pm – The Mayo Performing Arts Company, singing holiday favorites!
  • 4 pm – 7 pm – Chef Melody, owner of the Kids’ Green Kitchen, hosts a fun cooking class.
  • Noon – 7 pm – Unique Belgique Waffle Sales by The Run-A-Ton Group to benefit the Community Soup Kitchen, ($2)

Earlier this year, Center Street in Morristown was renamed Bishop Nazrey Way, honoring the late pastor of Morris County’s first church established by African Americans, Bethel A.M.E. Church. Bishop Nazrey was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom. At 1 pm, the church and the Morris County Heritage Commission will dedicate an historical marker to commemorate the church’s history. All are welcome to the ceremony, at 59 Spring Street.


Santa, as envisioned by the late Morristown illustrator Thomas Nast.

Santa, as envisioned by the late Morristown illustrator Thomas Nast. Image courtesy of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum.

Join F.M. Kirby Curator Ryan Hyman as he presents Thomas Nast’s Historical Icons to learn more about 19th century political cartoonist Thomas Nast, including his popularization of the modern day image of Santa Claus. The talk starts at 4:30 pm at the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, at 45 Macculloch Ave. in Morristown. You can also enjoy the period rooms decorated for the holidays and visit the Christmas exhibit Home for the Holidays if you arrive during the afternoon, last period room tour leaves just after 3 pm.  Sunday is also a great time to see a variety of Nast’s holiday works on display throughout the Museum. Visitors will have until 4:30 pm on Sunday to tour the galleries and Nast artwork on display before the program begins.

The Morristown community is invited to attend the free Annual Delbarton Christmas Concert, featuring orchestral music and choral groups from 7 to 9 pm. Parking is free and refreshments will be served. At 230 Mendham Road in Morris Township.

Morristown’s Sunday Night Portrait Drawing Sessions have returned to ArtSpace at 14 Elm St. Sessions run from 6 pm to 9 pm and feature live models and camaraderie for $10.
Kevin Coughlin contributed to this report.

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