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12/13/12: Poloncarz Welcomes Santaland to Chestnut Ridge Park


Annual Two-Day Event Features Free Family Fun, Hay Rides, Jolly Old Elf

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Parks Commissioner Troy Schinzel, Legislator John Mills, members of the Orchard Park Recreation Department, and Kris Kringle himself at the Casino at Chestnut Ridge Park to announce the return of Santaland to Chestnut Ridge this weekend, December 15-16, 2012 from 11am-4pm each day. For the first time, Erie County is collaborating with Orchard Park Recreation to present both Santaland and Winterfest, a seasonal celebration held at the Park on January 27, 2013.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” said Poloncarz. “Santaland is a great way for families to spend some quality holiday time together at Chestnut Ridge Park, with a very seasonal and festive atmosphere awaiting them here to make their holidays even brighter. It takes a lot of cooperation between departments and agencies, including the North Pole, to make this happen, so I hope everyone will come out and enjoy it this weekend.”

Presented by the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department in conjunction with the Orchard Park Recreation Department, Santaland introduces new family activities this year including a hay maze, wood cutting, and marshmallow roasts on both days (marshmallows and hot chocolate were donated by J. Mills Distributing, Orchard Park, NY). Family favorites from earlier years return as well, with hay rides to Santa, face painting, 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.

“Thanks to the Orchard Park Recreation Department and our generous sponsors, Santaland will return this weekend. There isn’t another event like it and kids will remember taking the hayride through Chestnut Ridge Park to see Santa for years to come,” said Legislator Mills. “Santaland was always a favorite Christmas tradition for my family and I am pleased to see it continue for a new generation. Many great activities will be offered so plan to attend either Saturday or Sunday.”

“Orchard Park Recreation is extremely pleased and proud to assist Erie County in presenting two wonderful family winter events in Santaland and Winterfest,” said Orchard Park Recreation Director Ed Leak. “If not for this collaboration and assistance from our corporate sponsors, the residents of Erie County would not have had the opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful assets in the County in Chestnut Ridge Park. This joint initiative is a perfect example of what can be accomplished to add to the quality of life in our area.”

Vital support and sponsorship of Santaland 2012 is provided by: Towne Auto Group, Verizon, Wegmans, Southtown Radiology, WBEN AM 930, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.