Candyland to be bigger, better
Published 12:40 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Event to include more snow, ice skating rink, train
There’ll be snow again this Christmas – and more of it than last year, thanks to a commitment made by the Andalusia City Council Tuesday.
The Council agreed to partner with the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce to make Candyland – the snow village held on the Square last December – even bigger and better than ever.
Chamber Executive Director Chrissie Duffy asked for the council’s support in almost doubling the snow machines, and expanding the event to include an ice skating rink and train rides.
While last year’s event featured eight snow machines, Duffy recommended renting 14 this year – 12 for the Square and two for the ice skating rink that will be placed on the lawn at Springdale.
Duffy said she has commitments for the construction of at least eight new playhouses, and plans to have them open on the Square and at Springdale. Two of last year’s cottages will be used for a skate shop – to house the skates to be rented for use on the synthetic skating rink – and as a train station.
Duffy said that information pushed out on social media by the Chamber about the event earlier this week has already reached 50,000 people.
The snow machines and skating rink will be leased, but the train will be purchased and also used at other times in the year.
The rink will be open the first three weekends in December, and there will be snow every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December except for Christmas Day, which falls on a Friday.
There also will be a giant movie screen featuring Christmas movies on the lawn at Springdale on Friday nights.
The snow machines and skating rink each cost $15,000. The train, which is being purchased, is $17,000 for the engine, and the Chamber expects to get sponsors for the cars. The caboose, Duffy said, is handicapped accessible and can accommodate wheelchairs.
“That’s a lot of money,” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “But if you look at the amount of goodwill and good advertising and good feelings that created on our Square last year. If you multiply it by a factor of four or five, it could easily become one of the top attractions in the state in December. We could truly become the Christmas city of Alabama.”
Duffy estimated that the total cost of the project will be $100,000. The Chamber will raise the additional money through sponsorships, she said.