NEW JERSEY (PIX11) — The Westfield Garden State Plaza kicked off the holiday season in a big way Saturday evening.

The mall lit up a 48-foot Santa Claus and had drones dance across the sky.

Over 200 illuminated drones created holiday constellations like reindeer, snowmen, angels, and even gingerbread. All while synchronized to the sound of holiday music.

This was the second year the Garden State Plaza hosted the popular event.

The emcee for the night was the Queen of Freestyle, Judy Torres from 103.5 FM KTU radio.

Torres also had the honor of lighting the mall’s “Big Santa” signaling the start of the holiday shopping season. Festivities included live musical performances and surprise visits from Elsa, and Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen.”

The real Santa Claus even made a guest appearance and arrived while being escorted by the Paramus High School Marching Band.  

Matthew Euzarraga is a multimedia journalist from El Paso, Texas. He has covered local news and LGBTQIA topics in the New York City Metro area since 2021. He joined the PIX11 Digital team in 2023. You can see more of his work here.