Christmas decorations

Xinhua/Sipa USA

New Jersey Mall Plans To Bring Back Iconic 'Big Santa'

November 01, 2018 - 12:34 pm

PARAMUS, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- A beloved Christmas decoration is returning to a New Jersey mall after a 30-year hiatus.

Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus plans to introduce a 45-foot-tall replica of its iconic Christmas giant later this month, promising to bring back the Santa Claus that greeted shoppers between the 1950s and 1980s.

Unfortunately, this year’s Big Santa will not be the original 51-foot St. Nicholas, which sat atop a chimney facing Route 17 and could be seen “for miles,” according to the mall.

"We are incredibly excited to bring Big Santa back to Bergen County," Jay Daly, general manager of Westfield Garden State Plaza, said in a statement. "Like its legendary predecessor, it is our hope that the new Big Santa – along with all the new holiday decor that will debut this season throughout the shopping center – will come to symbolize the joys of the holidays."

New Big Santa will be a bit smaller and will sit next to the Nordstrom in the mall’s parking lot. The jolly giant will greet shoppers arriving from Route 17 and Route 4.

The mall’s senior director of marketing said the staff does not know what happened to the original Santa decoration.

Big Santa will make his return on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public, and will include music from Paramus students, hot chocolate and a meet-and-greet with a much smaller Santa Claus.