Poloncarz, Santa Claus, officials announce return of free, two-day family-fun event
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined Monday by Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel along with Santa Claus and representatives of the Orchard Park Recreation Department to announce the return of Santa Land to Chestnut Ridge. The site is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7-8. Again this year, the Erie County Parks Department is partnering with the Orchard Park Recreation Department to present this popular, free event that features a full schedule of family fun on both days.
“With or without snow, Christmas is in the air and this weekend we are welcoming Santa Claus back to Chestnut Ridge Park for Santa Land, providing seasonal fun for kids of all ages,” Poloncarz said. “Kids are getting their lists ready for their face-to-face meetings with the jolly old elf, which will be happening here all weekend along with hayrides and other great activities. I want to thank our Parks Department and their partners for their work in presenting this great event again this year.”
Presented by the Erie County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department in conjunction with the Orchard Park Recreation Department, Santa Land is bringing back family activities including face-painting, wood-cutting and marshmallow roasts on both days. Family favorites from earlier years return, as well, with hayrides to Santa, and arts and crafts scheduled throughout. In addition, the casino’s concession stand will be open and offering food and drink for sale. Caroling by the Orchard Park Chorale will take place from noon-2 p.m. Saturday
Santa Land is also a designated drop-off site for the Toys for Tots campaign, and participants are encouraged to drop off a new, unwrapped toy to brighten a child’s holiday.
Schinzel said, “Families look forward to Santa Land each year and this year will be another special time to make some Christmas memories. Parents should remember that the last hayride to see Santa will leave at 2:30 each day, so please plan accordingly.”
“Year after year, it is with great pleasure the Orchard Park Recreation Department has the opportunity to collaborate with Erie County to provide Santa Land as a fun, free family event. This fine tradition has allowed many parents who once enjoyed the event as a child themselves to start a new tradition with their own family,” added Orchard Park Recreation Director Ed Leak.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/.