Westfield Garden State Plaza Officially Kicks Off the Holiday Season With 45-Foot Santa

Westfield Garden State Plaza will kick-off the holiday season with the 5th annual lighting of the updated iconic Big Santa on November 18 from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. This year’s celebration will feature the addition of a choreographed 160-figure drone show lighting up the sky and set to holiday music presented by 106.7 Lite FM.

From the 1950s through the 1980s, the 50-foot Big Santa was perched atop a chimney in the mall’s parking lot and could be seen for miles. The community icon was brought back to life in 2018 by Fair Lawn-based Center Stage Productions through an intense 12-week process which utilized state-of-the-art technology, and traditional hand carving and sculpting techniques to accurately capture Big Santa’s extra-large personality.

“The Big Santa lighting tradition is an exciting and fun way for residents of all ages to get into the holiday spirit,” said Wesley Rebisz, Senior General Manager at Westfield Garden State Plaza.  “This year’s lighting will be bigger than ever as we launch our holiday drone show. We are one of the first malls in the country to illuminate the sky with a drone show and we’re excited to offer the community these beautiful holiday illusions.”

The festivities will include giveaways, surprise visits such as The Grinch, and musical performances by up-and-coming artists Vince Ermita (Broadway’s The Lion King), Felice Kakaletris (Annie Live!) and Maya Joshi (Carnegie Hall performer) produced by The Bergen Performing Arts Center.  There will be several food trucks including Catlike Reflexes, The Mozzarella God, and Dunkin’? who will provide free hot chocolate. The real Santa Claus will arrive in a fire truck escorted by the Paramus High School Marching Band. 

Admissions to the event is free and will take in the parking lot adjacent to Nordstrom and Design Within Reach. At the end of the performances and drone show, all are invited to continue the holiday fun indoors at select retailers:

CAMP - Create your own Holiday Friendship Bracelet. Located on Level 2 by AMC Theatres

Chic Sugars - Holiday cookie decorating. Located on Level 2 between Macy’s and Neiman Marcus

LEGO - Stop by for a mini-build creation. Located on Level 2 above the Food Court

Razer - Stop by for some complimentary swag bags and product demos

Arena Stem - Create 3D artwork with 3D pen art

In the event of inclement weather, the rain date for the Big Santa lighting November 22 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

For more information visit the Westfield Garden State Plaza website here

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