Weekly Feature



2017-12-07 / Entertainment

Santa Land set for this weekend at Chestnut Ridge

by CHRIS GRAHAM
Orchard Park Editor


Santa Claus, County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Parks Commissioner Daniel Rizzo inform county residents that Santa Land will return to Chestnut Ridge Park this weekend. Santa Claus, County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Parks Commissioner Daniel Rizzo inform county residents that Santa Land will return to Chestnut Ridge Park this weekend. The potential for snow in this weekend’s forecast has organizers of Santa Land excited that the sledding hills at Chestnut Ridge Park could be used for the first time in several years for the event.

“That will add a whole new dimension to Santa Land because typically we haven’t had snow,” said Recreation Director Ed Leak.

Santa Land will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10, at Chestnut Ridge Park. The event is jointly presented by the Orchard Park Recreation Department and the Erie County Recreation and Forestry Department.

Leak said attendees of Santa Land can find out if the hills are open by visiting www.erie.gov and going to the winter sports page, where there will be a posting on whether the hills may be used.

The annual event will include hay rides, marshmallow roasts, a monster mural, face painting, the Orchard Park Middle School choir singing Christmas carols, arts and crafts, the opportunity to write a letter to Santa Claus and taking a trip to see Santa.

The Chestnut Ridge Park Casino’s concession stand will be open selling food and drinks.

The hay rides will transport families to see Santa from the main activities at the casino. The last hay ride to see Santa leaves at 2:30 p.m. on both days.

Santa Land is also a designated stop for Toys for Tots. Attendees can bring an unwrapped gift to the event.

“Christmas is in the air, and a sure sign is the return of Santa Land to Chestnut Ridge Park,” said County Executive Mark Poloncarz during a Tuesday press conference on Santa Land. “It’s a free event that brings children of all ages together to spend some Christmas time at one of Erie County’s beautiful parks, take part in some seasonal activities and even meet one-on-one with Santa.

“I want to thank [Parks] Commissioner [Daniel] Rizzo and his department, along with their partners, for their work in presenting this great event again this year.”

During the conference, Rizzo thanked event sponsors, the Orchard Park Recreation Department and Chestnut Ridge Conservancy for once again participating in the event.

“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,” he said.

Santa Land is sponsored by the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, Cappelli’s Pizzeria, Towne Auto Group, Wegmans, WBEN AM 930, the Basil Family Dealerships, Dick’s Sporting Goods, West Herr Auto Group, Hillcrest Volunteer Fire and Legislator John Mills.

For more information on Santa Land, visit www.everythingop.com.

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