By Jeff Sovelove and Kevin Coughlin
After receiving clearance from the FAA, Santa touched down on the roof of the Century 21 department store shortly after 5 pm on Sunday, with a helping hand from Morristown’s Bravest and huge cheers from children of all ages.
Morristown High School’s theater program had warmed up the crowd–estimated at 1,500 by Morristown police– with a rendition of Deck the Halls.
Following a thunderous countdown to the lighting of the historic Green, Santa cruised the barricades for a round of high fives.
Then, escorted by Morristown’s Finest, he led a gleeful procession to his Santa House, where he began taking Christmas orders from a long line of eager kids.
Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove:
The Green was dressed in its holiday finery for the occasion. Kids romped on giant rocking horses–perennial favorites–under the watchful eye of toy soldiers. Hot chocolate and cookies from the Hyatt Regency Morristown helped fuel the good cheer.
Organized by the Morristown Partnership, the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green will continue each weekend until Christmas.
Scheduled activities include electric train rides, arts and crafts, ice sculptures and musical performances–including the popular Morristown Merry Tuba Christmas, back on Dec. 22 for its fifth year.
“We came here 20 years ago as kids,” said Morristown resident Bill O’Connor, with his wife Kerry. This time, they brought their kids–Gracyn, 2, and Saoirse, age 9 months.
In her childhood, Kerry enjoyed a front-row seat for Santa’s arrival, in her father’s law office overlooking the Green.
“We used to have parties,” she said, adding there also was a Christmas parade, and she participated with the Morristown High School marching band.
Slideshow photos by Kevin Coughlin; click / hover over images for captions:
Adrienne Dunn and Christian Leon of Morristown brought their kids too on Sunday. Ella-Marie, 9; Juliette, 7; and Paul, 1, were happy to deposit their wish lists in Santa’s mailbox. How good have they been this year?
“I didn’t keep track,” answered Ella-Marie.
Mayor Tim Dougherty sounded confident.
“No coal for me this year!” he said.
The pretty lights and Santa-mania were nice enough. But Sylefane Cacheus of Irvington was drawn to the center of the Green, near the giant Christmas tree.
“I like the singing,” she said, as the Morris Choral Society sang carols.
Her son Matthew, 2, appeared overwhelmed by it all. “He likes to color,” his mom said.
The Verdugo girls–Ruth, 9; Daniella, 6; and Shalom, 3–posed while their parents, Leo and Piedad, snapped photos in front of the Santa House.
Ruth said she planned to ask Santa for the latest Pusheen the Cat books. Daniella reflected for a moment.
“I don’t know what I really want,” she said. “But I’m thinking about it.”