PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The holiday spirit was shining bright on Sunday night in New Jersey.
As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reported, a community came together to create a winter wonderland.READ MORE: Post-Christmas Return Blitz At Area Malls Reveals Possible COVID-Influenced Trend: Some Things Just Don't Fit
“It’s amazing. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Paterson decorated like this. It’s the first time it’s been so festive and I love it,” Jaye Collick said.
“I’m really happy to go outside and see lights because I don’t really go out much like I used to and it’s really nice, actually,” Mia Morales added.
Neighborhood families were invited to come to the park and drive through the mile-long “Winter Wonderland Light Show.” Along the route they enjoyed numerous blow-up figurines, including nutcrackers and snowmen.READ MORE: Travel Woes Worsen, Around 175 Flights Canceled At JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Airports Sunday
Santa, himself, along with some helpers, made an appearance, giving 400 presents to children of all ages. Everyone was treated to free cotton candy and hot cocoa to keep them warm as they waited to receive the presents and take photos with the man in red.
“I asked him for slime and toys and stuff like that,” Yulixa Lopez said.
Organizers, including numerous neighborhood associations and both the police and fire departments, said the event took several months to plan.
“A lot of us go to other cities to see this happen, so we just thought that, as a collective, we can all come together with different organizations, different businesses, different people in the community, different departments, to come together and put this together for our community,” fireman Roshawn Davis said, adding when asked what he hoped to get out of the event, “Just joy for the kids. Just joy. As long as they’re happy, I’m happy.”MORE NEWS: Citymeals On Wheels Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Everyone in attendance agreed that in the spirit of making Christmas wishes come true, Sunday night’s event topped them all.