Worth the wait: Santa rolls into Morristown, safe and sound

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER! Wintry weather delayed Santa's arrival by three days, but he's raring to make up for lost time, at the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, Dec. 4, 2019. Photo by Olivia Yepez
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By Olivia Yepez

Some things are worth waiting for.

Like Christmas. And Santa.

Santa says hello at the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, Dec. 4, 2019. Photo by Bill Lescohier

The jolly fellow was supposed to take up holiday residence at the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green on Sunday. But bad weather pushed his grand arrival to Wednesday night.

A cold, misty drizzle did not seem to dampen the excitement for families who came to greet Mr. Kringle.

As carols played merrily, a deejay told the crowd that the big guy was flying in from Canada, only a few minutes away by Santa Time.

Luz and Sebastian Franco of Morristown at the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, Dec. 4, 2019. Photo by Bill Lescohier

Unsafe conditions from Sunday’s snowfall prevented Santa from landing atop Century 21, per his custom.

Instead, his grand entrance was via a Morristown Fire Department truck, which paraded him around the Green for a few laps. Santa waved from a ladder bucket as lights flashed with four-alarm fervor.

 

Slideshow photos by Bill Lescohier and Olivia Yepez. Click/hover on images for captions:

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He then dismounted and met Mayor Tim Dougherty at the foot of the giant Christmas tree, where Santa led young and old in a countdown culminating in a hearty cheer of “Merry Christmas!”

Caroling around the tree, at the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, Dec. 4, 2019. Photo by Bill Lescohier

Suddenly, two acres of trees glowed with strands of holiday lights, continuing a tradition now more than a century old.

Santa then got down to business, moving into his cozy house on the Green to receive gift requests from kids eager to meet him at last.

Although photos cost $10, everything else was free, including choral performances, and hot chocolate and warm cookies provided by the Hyatt Regency Morristown.

“I think it’s wonderful, getting all the kids together,” said Olivia Restivo, 26, making her first visit to the event. She sang along while watching children wait for their audience with Santa.

Mayor Tim Dougherty and First Lady Mary Dougherty at the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, Dec. 4, 2019. Photo by Bill Lescohier

“I think it’s a really magical experience for them,” Restivo said.

Presented by the Morristown Partnership, the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green will run on Fridays (3 pm to 8 pm), Saturdays and Sundays (noon to 7 pm ) through Dec. 22, 2019.

Activities will include electric train rides, musical performances, ice sculpting and Yuletide arts and crafts.

MORE 2019 HOLIDAY COVERAGE

The Morris Choral Society carols on the Green 2019, video by Bill Lescohier for MorristownGreen.com:

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