The Christmas season begins in Morristown with the lighting of the green–an annual tradition that not only beautifies the community and makes it more festive, but is expected to draw more than 4,000 people and is part of the Morristown Partnership's "Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green," an event that spans four weeks and includes activities every weekend.
This year Santa, who will be turning on the lights, arrives at 6:30 p.m. on Friday to kick off the holiday season. The decorations, which will be up for all to enjoy until the first week of 2011 and include more than 10,000 LED lights and more than 100 wreaths, are provided by the Partnership.
"We do our best to make Morristown really festive," said France Delle Donne, the director of development at the Partnership.
The events vary week to week, but this weekend one can visit with Santa from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, check out some ornaments made from recycled bicycles, courtesy of Marty's Reliable Cycle, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, ride an electric train either Saturday or Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m., play children's games from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, or make a LEGO craft on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
In the coming weekends, there will be many more holiday events on the green, from ongoing Santa visits to an ice sculpting demonstration. This weekend, however, there are plenty of other events in town to check out before, after, or during the lighting of the green, all described below.
Friday, Nov. 26
- Open ice hockey for adults 18 and older runs from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. at the William G. Mennen Sports Arena in Morris Township. Goalies get free admission, all others are $10.
- Meet in the back parking lot of the Morristown Town Hall for a 3.5 mile, leisurely community bike ride for all ages at 6:15 p.m. And if you're feeling festive, bring your elf costume–November's ride is Christmas themed and will conclude at the Green for the arrival of Santa.
- Manhattan Comedy Night begins at 8 p.m. at the Community Theatre.
Saturday, Nov. 27
- Marty's Reliable Cycle of Morristown will host their weekly 20 mile ride beginning at 8 a.m.
- Meet at The Running Company for their weekly 5 mile group all abilities run at 9 a.m.
- Bret Michaels of Poison will be appearing at the Community Theatre for his "Custom Made Tour" at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 28
- For children ages 4 – 8, the musical Mooseltoe will be performed twice at the Community Theatre on Sunday, first at 1:30 p.m., then again at 4 p.m. The show tells the story, with original music, of a moose that wants to fly as one of Santa's reindeer.