BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Santa Claus arrived into town in a "tractor" pulled sleigh Saturday afternoon to visit with his adoring young fans during his trip through Berkeley Heights.
Awaiting for the 12 noon arrival of Santa, Nicholas O'Sullivan, director of the Gov. Livingston Highlander Band, entertained the crowd with Christmas songs.
Mayor Joe Bruno advised Santa that all of the children in Berkeley Heights "have been well behaved" and presented him with the key to the township, officially welcoming Santa to Berkeley Heights.
The children lined up inside the Winter Wonderland to meet with Santa and his helpers. He listened to each and every child's holiday wish. Family photos with Santa were given to the guests.
Carolyn George and her staff at the Berkeley Heights Recreation Department decorated the Town Hall, transforming it into an elaborate Winter Wonderland filled with special touches in every corner.The Town of Berkeley Heights Department of Public Works has been busy stringing the trees with new lights and hanging wreaths and holiday banners in preparation for the tree lighting and upcoming holiday season.
There was a steady flow of families getting face time with St. Nick. Each visit ended with pictures, candy canes, and smiles. Only a few toddlers cried, refusing to cooperate with parents trying to create holiday memories. (Candy canes were donated by White Tiger Dojo.)
Holiday themed coloring activities, hot chocolate, juice and cookies were provided for the families as they waited to visit with Santa.
Santa then arrived by fire truck Saturday evening for the annual lighting of the Berkeley Heights Christmas Tree. The community came together to celebrate the holiday season including Mayor Bruno and members of the Township Council, Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad, Police Department, Fire Department. Department of Public Works and the Berkeley Heights Teachers Association.
The Hickory Tree Chorus entertained the crowd with holiday music. Santa's helpers were handing out candy canes and served hot chocolate to the guests. The Berkeley Heights Teachers Association were serving cookies baked by the district teachers.
Santa had the children help with the count down and at the flick of the switch, the tree showed off its glow of white lights.
The firework display by Garden State Fireworks topped off the holiday festivities. Berkeley Heights has officially rung in the Christmas season.
Saturday's Santa Visit and Tree Lighting celebration was presented by The Special Events Committee and the Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission with special thanks to: Garden State Fireworks, Berkeley Heights Police Department, Berkeley Heights Fire Department, Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad, Berkeley Heights Department of Public Works, Berkeley Heights Education Association and White Tiger Dojo.