Officials join Santa Claus to announce return of two-day event packed with free family fun
Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots
Erie County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Daniel J. Rizzo, elected officials, representatives of the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, members of the Orchard Park Recreation Department and Santa Claus joined together Tuesday at the casino at Chestnut Ridge Park to announce the return of Santa Land to Chestnut Ridge. The activity will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday.
Again this year, the Erie County Parks Department is partnering with the Orchard Park Recreation Department to present both Santa Land and Winterfest, another popular seasonal celebration that will be held at the park on Jan. 29.
"We are excited to be hosting Santa Land at beautiful Chestnut Ridge Park again this year and want to thank our event sponsors and friends at the Orchard Park Recreation Department for joining us to provide this wonderful free family event," Parks Commissioner Daniel J. Rizzo said. "We welcome parents to bring their families out to enjoy all that Santa Land has to offer, but also to join in the spirit of giving by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for those less-fortunate children within our community."
Santa Land is a designated drop-off site for the 2016 Toys for Tots campaign, and event participants are encouraged to help brighten a child's holiday by donating a new, unwrapped toy in one of the conveniently located Toys for Tots barrels.
Orchard Park Recreation Director Ed Leak said, "The Orchard Park Recreation Department is once again honored to collaborate with Erie County by offering Santa Land as one of the most popular special events held each year. The ability to run the event is directly related to the support of our corporate sponsors year after year. Showcasing Chestnut Ridge Park as the jewel of the county park system is a benefit for all our residents."
Presented by the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department in conjunction with the Orchard Park Recreation Department, Santa Land is bringing back family activities this year, including a hay maze, wood cutting and marshmallow roasts on both days.
Family favorites from earlier years return as well, with hayrides to Santa, face painting, and arts and crafts scheduled for both days. In addition, the casino's concession stand will be open during the event offering food and drink for sale.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/.