PARAMUS, N.J. — While most North Jersey residents were flocking to Paramus malls bargain-hunting on Black Friday to kick-start their holiday shopping, others marked the start of the season with a low-key celebration with Bergen County officials at the annual Winter Wonderland at Van Saun County Park.

Deep within the serene park at sunset on Friday, November 29 to the sounds of beloved Christmas classics, families by the dozens took laps around an ice skating rink, while others took shelter inside a heated hospitality pavilion to enjoy a beer garden as little ones played games and colored with friends on miniature picnic benches. Children and adults alike stood in-line to receive a specially-twisted balloon of their choice from a balloon artist.

Attendees who braved the cold outdoors noshed on hot comfort foods from food trucks, which included Callahan’s, Waffle De Lys, Philly Fry, Sausage and Peppers and Zeppoles and enjoyed their fare on outdoor tables around a fire pit. 

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Winter Wonderland will continue on weekends throughout the season, and a Christmas tree lighting will take place next Sunday, December 8 at 5:30  p.m. at Paramus Borough Hall at 1 Jockish Square. Festivities will begin at 1 p.m. with a visit from Santa who will be on-site from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Performances by the Paramus High School Choir and Center Stage Dance will be held at 5 p.m.  

Parking will be available at Paramus High School as well as transportation from a shuttle bus.   

Tickets to Winter Wonderland can be purchased at bergencountywinterwonderland.com.