For the second straight year, the Morristown Farmer’s Market Pavilion will host Christmas at the Park and the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 7 to kick off the holiday season.
Sponsored by the city of Morristown and the Morristown Parks and Recreation Department, the city has had a tree at City Center since its construction and many years prior to that at the old city hall.
Back then, the event was held the first Tuesday of December after the annual City Council meeting - and included remarks from the mayor, choirs and the official lighting to kick off the Christmas season.
Now, the ceremony has been moved from Tuesday night to Saturday night so more people could enjoy the festivities.
Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney said at Thursday’s Crossroads Downtown Partnership’s annual meeting of its board of directors the current location will host the tree lighting for the forseeable future.
“The formal lighting at the Farmer’s Market is a better location (than the City Center),” he said. “Timing was always an challenge at the previous location.
“The Farmer’s Market is more condusive to events like these, and it’s really a nice event.”
Christmas at the Park will begin at 3 p.m. Christmas exhibits will be presented along East Morris Boulevard, and Santa Claus will be on hand for children to take pictures with.
The 13th-annual event will also have live music, local vendors presenting gift ideas, a section where people can make decorations to take home with them, as well as food trucks.
“(Christmas at the Park and the tree lighting) has grown,” said program coordinator Jennifer Gentry, who is in her third year as part of the events. “Having all the events outside at one venue brought in a lot of people (last year).”
Around 5:30 p.m., the festival then will transform into the Christmas tree lighting event with music and dancing.
As part of a yearly tradition, the Christmas tree has been donated by different members of the community. This year, the tree was donated by Beulah Clarkson from her home at Lyn Mar Downs in conjunction with its homeowners association.
The Morristown Public Works Department sent several people to transport the large tree, which took many years to grow, to the Farmer’s Market, as they have done every year.