Put away the Thanksgiving place settings…it’s Santa time in Morristown

Santa hitches a ride with the Morristown Fire Department, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Santa hitches a ride with the Morristown Fire Department, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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By Nicholas Voltaggio

With the Thanksgiving leftovers just about gone, Morristown began its transition into the December holiday season with Santa’s arrival on Sunday night.

With a little help from the fire department, Mr. Claus landed near the historic Morristown Green to squeals of delight from hordes of kids.

Santa says hello at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Santa says hello at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The annual spectacle drew families of all shapes and sizes to the brisk Green, where Christmas decorations and carolers from the Morris Choral Society ramped up the holiday cheer.

Children romped and friends hugged and laughed while enjoying the scenery. Some sipped hot cocoa, courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Morristown; others ate cotton candy.

Caroline, a snack vendor, said she loves how this event “brings the whole community together…it’s something for the whole family to enjoy.”

Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove and Kevin Coughlin:

Santa hitches a ride with the Morristown Fire Department, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Retriever is in the Christmas spirit, for Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Lucien, 10, and Korina, Petros,9, of Morris Township await their turn with Santa, at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Hold on Santa! Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Mayor Tim Dougherty works the crowd before Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Santa gives an interview at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Kylah Foster, left, and her mom, Morristown Councilwoman Toshiba Foster, at Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Santa says hello at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Sebastian Franco, 4 1/2, goes for a ride after Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Santa settles into his condo on the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
First Lady Mary Dougherty and Mayor Tim Dougherty, before Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. . Photo by Kevin Coughlin
'Hello, down there!' Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Morris Choral Society, conducted by Wayne Walters, sings after Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Santa speaks after arriving at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
First Lady Mary Dougherty and Mayor Tim Dougherty, before Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The mailbox is ready for Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Andrew, 6, from Randolph enjoys the big rocking horse, before Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Green is illuminated for Santa's arrival, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Crowd awaits Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The tree was lit at Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Green's decked out for Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Trees were lit during Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Santa's arrival lights up the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Holiday lights at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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2017 Morristown Christmas Festival (31) - Santa hitches a ride with the Morristown Fire Department, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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Presented by the Morristown Partnership, the festivities were bolstered by town police and firefighters.

“Look around! There’s excitement, a massive turnout, and kids’ smiling faces,” said Police Officer Keith Cregan.

While St. Nick and his reindeer were winging their way from the North Pole, members of the Morristown High School theater department warmed up the crowd with Deck the Halls.

MHS Theatre members perform for Santa fans. Video by Jeff Sovelove for MorristownGreen.com:

 

Mayor Tim Dougherty and First Lady Mary Dougherty whipped the youngest audience members into a frenzy with cheers of Santa! Santa!

Mayor Tim Dougherty works the crowd before Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Mayor Tim Dougherty works the crowd before Santa’s arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

The famous gift-giver himself arrived just before 5:30 pm, and was lowered from the Century 21 roof in a bucket attached to a fire truck ladder.

Safely on solid ground, Santa reminded everyone that he only makes deliveries to homes where children are asleep.

With a countdown consisting of “Ho, Ho, Ho!”  Santa orchestrated the illumination of the Green’s Christmas tree and holiday lights.

Morristown Partnership Chairman Frank Vitolo gets a helping hand, before Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Morristown Partnership Chairman Frank Vitolo gets a helping hand, before Santa’s arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

Frelinghuysen Middle School 6th-grader Alex Barrett described the tree-lighting as her favorite part of the evening.

Happily, Santa is sticking around Morristown for awhile longer, posing for photos in his workshop on the Green every weekend until Dec. 22, 2017. There will be lots of fun, winter-themed activities, too, at the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green.

For many, Sunday’s celebration signified that the most wonderful time of the year finally has begun.

Morristown Green correspondent Nicholas Voltaggio is a freshman at Morristown High School.

MORE COVERAGE OF CHRISTMAS 2017

Crowd awaits Santa's arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Crowd awaits Santa’s arrival at the Morristown Green, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

EVENTS SCHEDULE FOR THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL:

Friday, Dec. 1

Santa House

2 to 8 p.m. – Santa visits and photos* (*Photos are $10)

Saturday, Dec. 2

Santa House

Noon to 7 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

1 to 3 p.m. – Gingerbread house making

5 to 7 p.m. – Holiday Performances with the Original Music School

Outdoors

2 to 5 p.m. – Ice sculpting demonstration

2 to 6 p.m. – Miniature train rides

Sunday, Dec. 3

Santa House

Noon to 7 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

1 to 4 p.m. – Pinot’s palette popsicle stick ornament making

5 to 7 p.m. – Holiday Performances with the Original Music School

Outdoors

2 to 6 p.m. – Miniature train rides

Friday, Dec. 8

Santa House

2 to 8 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

3 to 5 p.m. – Holiday crafts with the Morris Museum

Saturday, Dec. 9

Santa House

Noon to 7 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

1 to 3 p.m. – Thomas Nast ornament making by MacCulloch Hall Historical Museum

1 to 5 p.m. – Sponsor Exhibitors: The Education Association of Morris & Bath Fitters NJ

5 to 7 p.m. – Holiday Performances with the Original Music School

Outdoors

2 to 5 p.m. – Ice sculpting demonstration

2 to 6 p.m. – Miniature train rides

Sunday, Dec. 10

Santa House

Noon to 7 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

1 to 4 p.m. – Pinot’s Palette popsicle stick ornament making

5 to 7 p.m. – Holiday Performances with the Original Music School

Outdoors

2 to 3 p.m. – Caroling on the Green by Brightest Star Select Chorus

2 to 6 p.m. – Miniature train rides

Friday, Dec. 15

Santa House

2 to 8 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

4 to 5 p.m. – Morristown High School Marching Band – performing a Christmas Carol variety

Saturday, Dec. 16

Santa House

Noon to 7 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

1 to 5 p.m. – Sponsor Exhibitors: Bath Fitters NJ

1 to 3 p.m. – Mayo Performing Arts Company – singing holiday favorites

4 to 6 p.m. – Gingerbread house making

Outdoors

2 to 5 p.m. – Ice sculpting demonstration

2 to 6 p.m. – Miniature train rides

Sunday, Dec. 17

Santa House

Noon to 7 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Tent

1 to 4 p.m. – Pinot’s palette popsicle stick ornament making

1 to 5 p.m. – Sponsor Exhibitors: The Education Association of Morris

5 to 7 p.m. – Holiday Performances with the Original Music School

Outdoors

2 to 5 p.m. – Ice sculpting demonstration

2 to 6 p.m. – Miniature train rides

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Santa House

2 to 8 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Thursday, Dec. 21

Santa House

2 to 8 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

Friday, Dec. 22

Santa House

2 to 8 p.m. – Santa visits and photos*

​*Periodic Santa breaks (not to exceed 30 minutes) may occur per announcements on-site
 

 

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