DENVILLE, NJ -- As we dine on turkey and gravy this Thanksgiving, there are preparations taking place for Christmas in Denville. Holiday celebrations have always been a big thing in the Hub of Morris County, with thousands turning out in cold weather to sing carols and decorate their houses with bright lights.
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, Christmastime in Denville will kick off automatically with an open house event on Broadway. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saint Francis Residential Community will present an evening of special offerings. Denville residents also can take horse and carriage rides; meet Elsa, Olaf and the Grinch; sing along with holiday carolers; watch variety and magic shows at Center Street; snap photos with Santa Claus at Lakeland Bank; listen to stories told by Mrs. Claus; greet Miss North Jersey, Veronica Tullo, at Smartworld; dance to festive music and more.
The following day, Nov 30, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., will be Small Business Saturday all around downtown Denville, with restaurants and stores offering more specials. Not to mention that at 7 p.m., there will be a tree lighting ceremony at Santa Land, located on Clark and Church streets.
The biggest celebration comes on Dec 1 with the annual Denville Holiday Parade, starting at 2 p.m. The parade will start on Bloomfield Avenue across from the Rockaway River, proceed down Broadway and turn right on Diamond Spring Road on to Santa Land.
The Christmas parade has been a long tradition in Denville Township for more than 50 years. Each year, it attracts thousands of spectators, with more than 30 to 40 groups participating in the march. These groups often include boy and girl scout troops, local churches, charities and organizations like the Denville P.R.I.D.E. Council, horse carriages, antique cars, cheerleading squads, music groups like the Morris Knolls High School marching band and vehicles from the Denville fire and police departments.
And of course, Santa Claus will be in the parade, riding on one of the fire trucks. Once the parade concludes at Santa Land, the jolly man in red and white will take his place at his workshop and listen to children’s wishes for Christmas.
This year’s holiday parade committee includes Downtown Denville Business Improvement District, a nonprofit organization that is funded by township property owners and supports promotional efforts, improvements and administration of the downtown area.
The parade committee also includes individuals such as Denville Recreation Director Nick Panetta, Scott Revis, Pat Dyer, Ellen Sandman, Michael Scannelli, Darlene Price, Denville Business Administrator Steve Ward and Councilwoman Nancy Witte. Denville resident Bob Ranft, who passed away earlier this month, was also a holiday parade committee member.
“This is the largest yearly parade in Denville and is filled with excitement,” said Councilwoman Witte.
“It is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season and to see all that Denville has to offer.
To learn more about the holiday events in Denville Township, visit the Downtown Denville Business Improvement District website at https://downtowndenville.com/, or visit the township’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TownshipOfDenville/photos/a.321451714621894/2043771485723233/?type=3&theater.
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