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Little Ivy Brings Santa

Downtown for Holidays 2021!

Although it is his busiest time of the year, Santa Claus and some of his hardest working elves have just agreed to join us in welcoming the 2021 holiday season to town at the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce’s annual Downtown for the Holidays Festival on FRIDAY evening, December 3.

Little Ivy Learning Center has once again arranged to fly Santa and his elves into town so that they’ll have an opportunity to meet our local boys and girls. This year, Santa and his elves will be travelling along Ridgewood Avenue in his special Santa Cart starting @ 6:30 pm. They’ll be making frequent stops for COVID-sensitive opportunities to say hello as they make their way from Maple Avenue. . .  all the way to the Wilsey Square parking lot on the West Side (@ approximately 8 pm)!

Reliable sources tell us that Santa’s plans were in doubt as recently as this morning.

“I can’t afford to be away from the North Pole for very long at this time of the year,” Santa said. “And because Rudolph and the reindeer need all the rest they can get before the Big Night, I needed someone to find a way to get back and forth from Ridgewood very quickly!”

When the teachers at Little Ivy heard about the pickle Santa was in, they hatched a plan and quickly jumped into action.

“We just knew we had to find a way to get Santa to town for the Downtown for the Holidays Festival” said Stephanie Bassler, Little Ivy’s director. “So we contacted Red-Nosed Reindeer Airlines and luckily they had seats available for Santa and his elves.”

To accommodate preschool-age children, who don’t have a COVID-19 vaccine available to them just yet , Ms. Stephanie and the teachers at Little Ivy Learning Center asked Santa whether he might provide a special, COVID-sensitive opportunity for your wee ones this year. Working with our friends at Ridgewood Village Hall, Santa will be able to share holiday greetings while making his way along the festival route in his very own Santa Cart.

“No sooner did I mention this year’s special circumstances for preschoolers who want to meet him, than a twinkle appeared in Santa’s eye,” Ms. Stephanie said.

“It made such good sense,” Santa said, “that I wish I had thought of it sooner!”

The Ridgewood Chamber’s Downtown for Holidays opening-night tradition is always a special family evening, featuring outdoor activities for all ages and lots of holiday cheer. East Ridgewood Avenue is closed to traffic from Maple Avenue to Broad Street– plus the Wilsey Square parking lot on the West Side– from 6 pm-8:30 pm so that families are free to roam as they join in the activities, greet friends and neighbors, enjoy the holiday lights and decorations, and visit their favorite shops and restaurants.

This year’s theme is Trucks on Holiday, with Touch-a-Truck-style opportunities for your children to explore up-close a fleet of fire trucks, police cruisers and other emergency and public works vehicles that they’ve only seen at a distance on the streets of Ridgewood.  The vehicles will be arrayed all along Ridgewood Avenue– from Wilsey Square on the West Side, all they way to Maple Avenue on the East Side.

In addition, you and your family can enjoy:

  • Smores in the Park, with warming fire rings in Memorial Park @ Van Neste Square thanks to the Ridgewood Fire Department;
  • Meeting The Grinch, captured by the Ridgewood Police Department at the corner of Oak Street and East Ridgewood Avenue (near Van Neste Square);
  • Dancers & More in shop windows all throughout the east and west sides of downtown courtesy of our local merchants;
  • Music & Merriment, also all throughout the east and west sides of downtown;
  • Huge, Lighted Holiday Trees, in Memorial Park @ Van Neste Square, just beyond Broad Street where Ridgewood Avenue meets the rail tracks and in Wilsey Square on the West Side plus, of course. . .
  • Santa & His Elves, all along Ridgewood Avenue in his Santa Cart!

“Our kids always look forward to tree-lighting night in Ridgewood, and we’re thrilled that Little Ivy has once again been asked to support this great family event,” Ms. Stephanie said.