For the second straight year, Santa Claus will arrive on the Morristown Green on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
And he’ll be staying for the following three weekends for the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, marking its 100th year this year.
For several years prior to last year, Santa made his jolly descent from the Century 21 rooftop on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
But that’s a big shopping night for the department store, and so the Morristown Partnership has agreed to push back the date until the end of the holiday weekend, which this year happens to be Dec. 1, 2013.
Mayor Tim Dougherty said he objected, but the Partnership defended the move.
“We’re here to help people promote their business,” said Phil Del Giudice, chairman of the Partnership, which organizes the annual Christmas Festival on the Morristown Green.
“They’re our biggest sponsor, and they don’t want to impact their business in a negative way. I haven’t seen it affect attendance [last year]. Century 21 feels it’s better for their business. This doesn’t stop anyone from coming out to see Santa,” Phil said.
As an incentive for shoppers, the Partnership will introduce something new on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday.
The annual Gift Greenbacks gift certificate program will be boosted for one day: For every $50 of gift certificates that shoppers buy, they will receive an extra $20 in gift certificates, instead of the usual $10 holiday bonus, said Jennifer Wehring, marketing director for the Partnership.
More than 200 Morristown businesses honor these certificates, which are valid for one year, Jennifer said. The offer is good while supplies last; the Partnership will start selling $10,000 in certificates starting on Nov. 1.
And free two-hour parking in all metered spaces will extend from Dec. 14 to Dec. 24.