Video: Santa-Mania in Morristown
Let the holidays begin!
Santa is in the building. His building. On the Morristown Green.
He descended from the Century 21 rooftop on Sunday night with a hand from Morristown firefighters Mike Cirelli and Sean McDonough, and received a police escort to the Santa House as throngs of kids squealed with delight.
In between, the jolly old elf gave the command to fire up the Green, illuminating the historic square with an estimated 150,000 holiday LEDs.
Photos by Jeff Sovelove. Please click icon below for captions.
It’s a $100,000 extravaganza funded by corporate sponsors, said Jennifer Wehring, marketing director for the Partnership. This is her ninth festival for the nonprofit, which has run this show since 2000. But she has been coming to Yule festivities on the Green since childhood.
“I love it,” Jennifer said of her holiday assignment, which includes driving an electric choo-choo around the Green as needed. “I couldn’t do it for any other town. It’s my hometown.”
“Right now, everybody can be happy and at peace,” said Mayor Tim Dougherty. “I love it when the kids scream” for Santa.
Photos by Kevin Coughlin. Please click icon below for captions.
The Morris Choral Society provided the carols (the choristers’ annual holiday show at Morris Township’s Bickford Theatre is scheduled for Dec. 12 and 14, 2014), while the Hyatt Morristown served free hot cocoa on Sunday.
Over the next three weekends the Original Music School will showcase young performers. Look for ornament-making demos, too, and free train rides.
At 5 pm on Dec. 21, bring your battery-powered decorations for a Luminaria Parade, co-hosted by Morris Arts.
The Christmas Festival’s final weekend will add evening hours on Friday, Dec. 19, and Monday, Dec. 22, Jennifer said.
Santa’s return to the Green capped a busy weekend for the Partnership. During a special “shop local” promotion on Saturday, $5,000 worth of gift certificates were sold in 90 minutes, according to Jennifer.
Free street parking is coming next, to encourage holiday shopping downtown.
Visitors are bound to discover other surprises as well. Like Quack the Duck, a two-year-old pet that brought its owner, Bri Taquinto of Randolph, to see Santa on Sunday.
Quack wears ducky diapers, and has an Instagram site.
A pet duck, explained Bri, “is just like a dog, more less … with feathers.”