Saturday, October 3, 2009

Santa's Village (San Bernardino California). PT 2

Over the years various promotions were tried, including the addition of exotic animals and local celebrity guests such as Captain Satellite, Smokey the Bear, and Romper Rooms Miss Nancy.

The publicity surrounding the building of Disneyland sparked ideas in many an entrepreneur’s head during the fifties. By 1955, the year Disneyland opened for business, H. Glenn Holland had already opened the first of what would become a chain of three Santa’s Village amusement parks at Lake Arrowhead in Southern California. Meanwhile, the success of a local builder’s temporary Santa’s Wonderland in Scotts Valley the winter of that same year convinced Holland that this area could support a second Santa’s Village. Acquiring the polo pony farm previously owned by golf pro Marion Hollins, Holland began plans for the park to be located on the east side of highway 17 as it passes through Scotts Valley.

Santa’s Village opened Memorial Day of 1957 complete with winter-themed rides such as the spinning snowballs, a mirror-maze, puppet shows, a petting zoo, and of course Santa’s house complete with a refrigerated “North Pole.” All the buildings in the park featured high peaked roofs with artificial snow and icicles, even the gas station out front was adorned in this fashion.


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  2. About a couple years ago I stopped by the old Santa's Village and it is now an now some kind of construction warehouse.

    It is an odd juxtaposition of big "adult" vehicles parked about these "kiddie" structures.

    A lot of the old buildings still remain in tack, even the bumble bee monorail line is still up.

    I did not want to wander too deep into the private property, but I noticed the bumble bee monorail itself sitting outside tilted to the side and slowly and sadly rusting away.

    The famous candy cane sign is gone as well.

    Speaking of holiday theme places I was wondering, do you have any information on Santa Claus Lane near Santa Barbara?

    That is another famed roadside landmark that is no more, not even an shell of its former self.

    Earlier this decade residents in the area managed to do away with the larger than life Jolly Saint Nick statue that used to say ho-ho-ho to travelers along the 101, deeming it "tacky."