Modified: January 23, 2015 4:32pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (L) and Santa Claus pause at the top of the Chestnut Ridge Park sled hill after taking a run down the hill to celebrate the return of Santa Land to the park on Dec. 13- 14.
County Executive Joins Jolly Old Elf, Officials to Announce Return of Free, Two-Day Family Fun Event
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Commissioner of Parks, Recreation & Forestry Troy P. Schinzel, Erie County legislator John Mills (R-11th District), members of the Orchard Park Recreation Department, and Santa Claus at the Casino at Chestnut Ridge Park to announce the return of Santa Land to Chestnut Ridge this weekend, December 13-14, from 11AM – 3PM each day. 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.
“Christmas is in the air and a sure sign is the return of Santa Land to Chestnut Ridge Park. 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,” said Poloncarz. “I want to thank Commissioner Schinzel and his department, along with 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 this year including a hay maze, wood cutting, and marshmallow roasts on both days. Family favorites from earlier years return as well, with hay rides to Santa, face painting, a huge mural, and arts & crafts scheduled for both days. In addition, the Casino’s concession stand will be open during the event offering food and drink for sale. If conditions permit, sledding will also be available. 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.
Parks Commissioner Troy P. Schinzel said, “We are once again excited to be hosting Santa Land at beautiful Chestnut Ridge Park and want to thank the sponsors and our good friends at Orchard Park Recreation for mutually working together to provide this wonderful FREE family event. We encourage parents to bring their families out to enjoy all that Santa Land has to offer but also please consider bringing a new, unwrapped toy for those less fortunate children within our community.”
Legislator John Mills added, “Santa Land is a perfect opportunity for residents to visit Chestnut Ridge Park and enjoy this time-honored tradition. I am pleased that Erie County, the Town of Orchard Park and the wonderful sponsors have again come together to make this great event possible. I encourage all families to attend and enjoy the magic that is Santa Land.”
“Year after year it is with great pleasure the Orchard Park Recreation department has the opportunity to collaborate with Erie County to provide Santaland 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. Santaland is another example of the public and private sector working together for the quality of life in Erie County,” added Orchard Park Recreation Director Ed Leak.
Along with Erie County, the Orchard Park Recreation Department, and the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, support and sponsorship of Santa Land is provided by Towne Auto Group, Verizon, Legislator John Mills, Wegmans, Southtowns Radiology, WBEN AM 930, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and West Herr Auto Group.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/