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


County Executive, Santa Claus Announce Return of Two-Day Event Packed with Free Family Fun

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Parks Commissioner Troy 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 14-15, from 11AM – 3PM each day. Again this year, the Erie County Parks Department is partnering with the Orchard Park Recreation Department to present both Santa Land and Winterfest, a popular seasonal celebration held at the Park on January 26, 2014. 

“We’ll be ushering in the Christmas season and making merry once again this year with the return of Santa Land to Chestnut Ridge Park,” said Poloncarz. “This event provides a great way for families to spend some fun time together, meet Santa Claus and enjoy the holiday spirit and free activities at one of Erie County’s finest parks. Thanks to the Erie County Parks Department and their partners, including Santa Claus and his elves, family holiday memories will be made once again this weekend at Santa Land.”

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 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. 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 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.”

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.”

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.