Santa is visiting different areas in Montclair during several weekends in Montclair from early through mid-December.
In between the hours of 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. several days this month, excited kids and their families will be greeted by Santa and his elves as they roll through the streets in a Montclair Police Department vehicle. The deliveries, which occurred on Dec. 2 and 4 in the areas south of Bloomfield Ave., west of South Fullerton Ave., south of Draper Terr. and north of Watchung Ave., and will occur on Dec. 9 and 11 in other areas, are part of an annual program in the township.
Founded in 2010 by the Montclair Police Department and PBA Local #53 (New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association) with a little help from Santa and his elves, the annual Montclair Santa visit brings Christmas joy to kids and their families by asking participating parents to bring a wrapped gift to the Montclair Police Department donation area for their own child along with an unwrapped gift donation for a child in need.
Each night of the event, Santa and his Special Helpers drive around Montclair and personally deliver the gifts to each child in need and each child whose parents signed up for the scheduled drop off. The truck is decked out in lights and decoration and drives through a designated area each week, attracting kids and their families to run outside to see what’s going on.
This year’s program also included a visit from Santa at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Church St. and in a parade that ran through the Business District from South End to Upper Montclair on the afternoon of Saturday Nov. 2.
The team of elves is made up of several police officers who volunteer to be part of the magical tradition. They prepare by decorating Montclair Police and PBA vehicles with lights, speakers, and music before starting their rounds. They then schedule a route that passes every house on their list and drive parts of it each week.
According to Lauren Bristol, a Montclair resident and participant of the Santa visit, Santa and his helpers did a wonderful job and helped to make her son’s Christmas a great one. “[They] did a great job with the Santa visits this year. Me and my son both loved it, and it was special to be able to help a child in need along the way,” she said.