UPDATE 2:00 p.m. Monday, December 2:
You better watch out … this Wednesday, Dec. 4th at 6:15 pm for Santa’s arrival in Morristown! 🎅
Rescheduled from Sunday, Dec. 1
By Kerry Serzan
Special to The Star-Ledger
The spirit of the holidays is once again alive and well in Morristown! The kick off of the time honored Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, and the arrival of the much beloved Santa on North Park Place, is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. The evening will also include the 100+ year traditional countdown to the ‘Lighting of the Green’, festive music and plenty of good cheer.
While the sounds of live music and caroling fill the air, event sponsor Hyatt Regency Morristown will once again provide hot chocolate to warm those gathered to enjoy this special night in town. Visits with Santa will continue until 8 p.m.
“The Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green is a magical event that brings families and the entire Morristown community together to celebrate and be thankful for all that we have during the holiday season, ” said Amando Hernandez, director of sales and events. “Hyatt Regency Morristown is delighted to be a sponsor for this year’s event and we look forward to working with the Morristown Partnership to ensure an unforgettable experience for members of our wonderful community.”
This annual holiday extravaganza is presented by the Morristown Partnership with the support of many generous sponsors. After the official kickoff, a full schedule of activities is planned onsite at the Green and within the heated activity tent on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Dec. 22. Visit the Morristown Partnership website throughout the month for a complete schedule of activities and updates.
All month long, visitors of all ages will delight in memorable nostalgia including rides in a miniature wooden train, vintage oversized rocking horses, ice sculpture demonstrations, thousands of sparkling lights and decorations and, of course, visits with Santa.
Guests can warm up in in a heated activity tent featuring activities and live music. Arts and crafts activities include gingerbread house making, holiday card making and coloring.
“Downtown will be transformed into a winter wonderland to be enjoyed by all who live, work, visit or travel through Morristown,” said Karen Roettger, director of development at the Morristown Partnership. “Santa’s arrival, holiday music and seasonal decorations are just the beginning of this month-long event that brings families from near and far to enjoy the festivities.”
When the weather cooperates, Roettger said between 1,000 to 1,500 visitors attend the festival each day. Almost all of the attractions are offered free of charge to attendees – moving away from commercialism to capture the pure, childlike wonder of the season. “With the exception of Santa photos costing $10, everything else is free to the public thanks to our sponsors,” she said.
Morristown Medical Center, part of the Atlantic Health System, has sponsored the festival for 20+ years and will continue that tradition this year. Within Morristown Medical Center is Goryeb Children’s Hospital, northern New Jersey’s leading specialized pediatric hospital, ranked first in the state for the treatment of pediatric cancer.
“Goryeb Children’s Hospital is pleased to again participate in this year’s Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green, celebrating the holiday season with our community,” said Maryann Walsh, program manager of Pediatric Community Outreach at Goryeb Children’s Hospital. “Children will have the opportunity to spread cheer by making cards for those children who will be celebrating the holidays in the hospital – and they can also make cards for their loved ones to keep.”
Another ongoing sponsor is The Education Association of Morris (TEAM), an organization comprised of educators and support staff of the Morris School District.
Allison Unger, pride chair for the association, said, “TEAM is excited to sponsor the Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green again this year. We choose to sponsor the festival every year because it is a great opportunity for us to interact with more families in the community.”
“This event is so meaningful to Morristown, because it gives everyone the opportunity to come together and celebrate the holidays and strengthen the relationships within our community. TEAM will have a table of activities in the children’s tent again this year. Our hope is to spread holiday joy to the children and their families” Unger said.
The full schedule of activities and entertainment for the 2019 Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green is available at www.morristown-nj.org.
Downtown Morristown Year Round!
Follow the Morristown Partnership on Instagram @downtownmorristown and Facebook @MorristownPartnership and visit our website, www.morristown-nj.org, throughout the year for developing news related to special promotions, commercial space for lease and sale, new businesses, and information on all we do including: Morristown Partnership Gift Certificate Program, Morristown Restaurant Week, Meet Me in Morristown, Morristown Farmers Market, Halloween Trick-or-Treat, and our month-long Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green.