Hundreds celebrate early New Year's Eve at Santa's Village



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A colorful 20—minute-long fireworks show lit up the sky for an early New Year’s Eve celebration at Santa’s Village in Jefferson to welcome 2011. Edith Tucker. (click for larger version)
January 05, 2011
JEFFERSON — Father Time turned the clocks ahead by four hours on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, at Santa's Village.

The cheerful theme park was open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to celebrate the arrival of 2011, fooling younger guests and pleasing substantially older ones.

Nearly every parking spot was filled on both sides of Route 2 by 6:30 p.m., and lots of youngsters clamored out of SUVs, pickup trucks, and station wagons to enjoy a first-time experience.

Two- and three-generation families from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Quebec paid $29 for an all-inclusive evening of food and entertainment for teens and adults, $25 for youngsters aged 5 to 12, and free for those four and under.

Twenty-minutes of fireworks lighted up the dark sky starting at what appeared to be midnight, but was really 8 p.m., drawing cheers, oohs, and aahs from youngsters and adults blowing shiny horns, wearing funny caps, and partially concealed behind sparkly 2-0-1-1 eye masks. Temperatures started about the freezing mark and fell somewhat below 32 degrees, but with virtually no breeze. Cups of hot cocoa were popular treats, and the Burger Meister Food Court and fresh hot "doe-nuts" were almost instantaneously at hand.

Allyson and Bob Quinn and their two youngsters, seven-year-old Liam and nine-year-old Grace, drove from Fryeburg, Me., to spend the evening. A divorced dad who had not been with his son on Christmas Day was in near-ecstasy at having such a place to come to on the following weekend.

The view from Santa's Skyway Sleigh Monorail was particularly romantic, since powdery snow covered the conifer branches and thousands of holiday lights twinkled alluringly. DJ Lenny played favorite tunes at the Reindeer Rendezvous and both the 3-D show and Jingle Jamboree offered regular showings. Other rides, including Santa's Express Train and Santa's Smackers Bumper Cars, were also in operation.

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