Santa Land Returns this Weekend

Free Family Event at Chestnut Ridge Park

Susan Rose
December 02, 2019 - 4:59 pm
Chestnut Ridge Park Casino, Orchard Park, NY

WBEN photo/Susan Rose

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Orchard Park, N.Y. (WBEN) - As if the Jolly Old Elf had ordered it himself, a fresh blanket of snow provided the perfect backdrop for Monday's announcement that Santa Land is returning to Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park this weekend, December 7 and 8 from 11-3pm.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz was joined by Santa Claus, Erie County Parks Commissioner Troy Schinzel and Orchard Park Recreation Director Ed Leak in providing details about the free family fun event.

Activities include a hayride to Santa's workshop in the woods, along with face painting, wood cutting, marshmallow roasting and caroling.

Officials are hoping for a few more inches of snow this week for tubing and sledding on the big hill.  There probably will not be enough snow for tobaggoning. 

"Our parks are open 365 days of the year, but this is one of the biggest weekends of the year," said County Executive Poloncarz. "We will have thousands of people here enjoying the opportunity to meet Santa."

Santa Land is a designated drop-off site for the Toys for Tots campaign. "We're asking everyone to come and have a great time and bring a new unwrapped toy to fill these Toys for Tots boxes," said Poloncarz. "We want every child to enjoy the spirit of Christmas."

Santa Land is a decades-long tradition at Chestnut Ridge Park, the crown jewell of the parks system. 

Year after year Orchard Park Recreation provides staffing for the event.  Director Ed Leak says there will be many crafts indoors at the Casino.  Outside, Erie County Forestry will set up demonstrations and Hillcrest Fire Department will be there to open their fire truck to children. 

Santa offered a few Ho, Ho, Ho's and reminded people not to forget Toys for Tots. 

Santa Land is open from 11am-3pm Saturday and Sunday.

Newsradio 930 WBEN is a media sponsor. 

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