WESTFIELD, NJ — Wearing their “ugly holiday” sweaters and festive winter hats, a crowd of people gathered on the south side of Westfield’s train station Sunday for the town’s “Elf On the Shelf EXTRAVAGANZAlorious!” celebration, featuring holiday activities and a showing of the 30-minute film “An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf,” a movie written by Westfield resident Kenneth Waddell.

“It’s so exciting,” said Waddell, who was on hand to enjoy the party. “We made the movie in 2011 and it’s great to see year after year new kids getting to see it. I’m very lucky to be part of the group that got to tell this story and to see that the dream that we had, which was to create a true Christmas classic along the lines of ‘Rudolf ’and ‘Frosty,’ to see that we’re getting there.”

“I’m lucky to live in a town like Westfield that embraces its own and that we can partner together to help everyone enjoy the holidays,” Waddell added.

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Other activities Sunday included a candy cane pull with prizes from Elf on the Shelf, a DJ spinning holiday music, gingerbread cookie decorating, a walk-in snow globe and hot cocoa from Kilwin’s.

“This is awesome,” said Jessica McCarthy, who was there with her young family. “It’s good to get out and get downtown.”

MORE: Park for Free in Downtown Westfield This Holiday Season