ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — After taking a year off due to the pandemic, a popular free family event is returning to Chestnut Ridge Park, but in a different form.
Santa Land will take place on Saturday, December 11 from 10 AM-4 PM and will be a drive-through event. Instead of leaving your vehicle, those who attend will take a trip through the park with stops at sites for giveaways, demonstrations and more. Gates will close at 3:30 PM for the last visitors to make their way through the park.
“We are pleased to host Santa Land again this year at Chestnut Ridge Park and have taken steps to keep visitors and staff safe as they enjoy this holiday time. We have a drive-through adventure ahead that kids and families will enjoy to get in the spirit of the season without ever leaving their cars,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I want to thank our Parks Department and their partners for their planning and work in bringing back this great event this year.”
Visitors will enter the park through the Newton Road entrance and proceed on a 1.4 mile course through the park with fun and surprises along the way. Adventure stops will include Christmas Tree Forest, the Christmas Blow-Up display, and Santa's Village where children can drop off a letter to Santa.
Demonstrations by Albright-Knox, Let's Goat Buffalo and the Hillcrest Fire Company will also be featured. Giveaways (while supplies last) will include adventure bags, branded wood discs from Erie County's Forestry department and more.
Santa Land is designated a drop-off site for Toys for Tots and those attending are encouraged to drop off a new, unwrapped toy to brighten up a child's holiday.
Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel said, “Families look forward to Santa Land and this year will be another special time to make some Christmas memories. We have planned a fun drive-through event that everyone will enjoy, so we just want to remind visitors that the gates will close at 3:30 in order to get everyone through.”