Santa Land Returns to Chestnut Ridge Park

Modified: December 14, 2015 8:59am

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Santa Land Returns

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz joins Santa Claus for a walk outside the casino at Chestnut Ridge Park on Thursday. The Jolly Old Elf will be setting up shop this weekend at the Park with the return of Santa Land on Saturday and Sunday from 11-3, offering free family fun, visits with Santa, and more.

Poloncarz, Officials Announce Return of Free, Two-Day Family Fun Event

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by members of the Erie County Parks Department, representatives of the Orchard Park Recreation Department, and Santa Claus to announce the return of Santa Land to Chestnut Ridge this weekend, December 12-13, 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.

“Despite a lack of 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,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Kids know its crunch time for those critical face-to-face meetings with Santa, 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 this year including wood cutting and marshmallow roasts on both days. Family favorites from earlier years return as well, with hay rides to Santa and arts & crafts scheduled throughout the weekend. 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.

“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.   

In 2014, over 4,500 families attended this two-day event, with nearly 1,700 children sitting on Santa’s lap, over 2,200 marshmallows roasted, and over 2,000 crafts made.

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