BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Santa and his elves arrived in Berkeley Heights in a wagon drawn by two huge horses on Saturday morning, much to the delight of the children and parents waiting in the parking lot of Town Hall.
Members of a band made up by Governor Livingston High School musicians entertained the crowd before Santa arrived with a medley of Christmas songs.
Mayor Bob Woodruff presented Santa with a key to the township, as he does every year, and a present, which Santa happily accepted ... before he said he knew the present wasn't going to do his diet any good! Berkeley Heights is Santa's first stop every year, he said, adding he planned to spend the day here because he promised a lot of boys and girls he would be in town all day. He is expected to help the township light the Christmas Tree in Peppertown Park at 4 p.m. today, before heading back to the North Pole.
After Santa and his elves entered the Winter Wonderland in what normally are the council chambers, he sat on his special chair and spent the next several hours greeting children, asking them what they wanted for Christmas and posing for photos with them. The elves helped direct the children and handed out candy canes when they were done. A few of the children gave Santa their lists to take back to the North Pole, after discussing the contents with Santa, and even more dropped their letters into the special mailbox outside the entrance to the Police Department.
Double stuffed Oreo cookies and hot chocolate kept parents and children busy while they waited for Santa.
The Santa visit is presented by the Berkeley Heights Recreation Department's Special Events Committee.