UPDATE: The West Orange Christmas Tree Lighting has been rescheduled to Sunday Dec 2, 2018 due to weather. The Holiday Open House will go on as planned Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.


WEST ORANGE, NJ — Among the many highlights of the Township of West Orange’s annual Santa Claus is Coming to Town Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting event on Saturday, the West Orange Public Library will host a Winter Wonderland Stuffed Animal Workshop from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in conjunction with “Gingerbread Friends.”

Local children are invited to choose from a selection of 15-inch, unstuffed animals that they will then stuff themselves while making a wish and create a birth certificate for their new friend. According to Faith Boyle, head of youth services for the West Orange Public Library, the line for last year’s workshop was flooding out the door of the library and the enthusiasm among the young participants was evident throughout the event.

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Registration is required for this free event, and is available by clicking HERE.

The Winter Wonderland Stuffed Animal Workshop is only one aspect of a full day of events being held in Downtown West Orange on Saturday.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with the Holiday Open House and Holiday Arts & Crafts Show. Pictures and breakfast with Santa will be held at Washington School from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by the Downtown West Orange Alliance’s Arts & Crafts and Talent Show at the West Orange Community House, 252 Main Street, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., township historian Joseph Fagan will be leading free trolley tours of historic downtown and Llewellyn Park. Tours leave every half hour, with the last one leaving at 3:30 p.m.

Mayor Robert Parisi’s “Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree Lighting” events at Town Hall will begin at 4 p.m. with a Swift Farms Petting Zoo and photo opportunities with Olaf, the Grinch, a snowman, an elf, reindeer and a giant snow globe. Thanks to the West Orange African Heritage Organization, a Kwanzaa Booth will also be open during this event.

The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. with opening remarks from Parisi, a musical presentation from Vienna Music School and a dance performance from Unique Performance Arts Center of West Orange. A Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa will be awarded to the lucky winner of a raffle drawing at 5:30 p.m.

When Santa arrives shortly after, the holiday tree will officially be lit. Santa will then visit with families in his workshop (West Orange Council Chambers) immediately following. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

As reservations are recommended for some activities, visit www.downtownWO.com for more information. It is recommended that all families bring their own phone or camera for photos.