Candyland opens; students give venues rave reviews [with gallery]

Published 3:11 am Saturday, December 2, 2017

Andalusia Elementary School students got the first glimpse of the 2017 Christmas in Candyland on Friday morning.

School buses full of kindergarten students arrived at the square at 9 a.m. for the ribbon cutting ceremony, and the first snow of this year’s event.

The square features eight cottages this year.

At Springdale, fourth grade students got the chance to slide down the polar bear slide, ice skate on the new and improved skating rink, and explore the other 15 cottages.

“The reason we have Candyland, is really for the kids. It wouldn’t be a Merry Christmas without them,” Mayor Earl Johnson said.

Fabion Green, a fourth grader from AES, said he loved Candyland.

“It’s really beautiful. I love how they decorated, and how it’s kid friendly. I will come back next year,” Green said.

“I think there’s a lot of cool decorations. It’s fun to play and look at,” Andre Wright said.

“Well, to put it simply, if I were rating Candyland on a one to ten scale, I would give it a ten. Hopefully next year there can be more food-themed cottages, I really liked Huddle House’s,” Tyler Levitske said.

“I loved the ice skating rink, it’s really easy to skate on,” Levi Levitske said.

Candyland has been growing every year, but this year is special.

“We’ve added the enchanted sleigh, and the slide is taller. We have materials coming from everywhere, even Italy. We had a custom archway put together. We’ve really pulled a lot of ideas from various places, and studied up on what we could do best,” Chrissie Duffy, executive director of the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce, said.

“Candyland is so great for Andalusia, not only for our kids, but also for the economic boost we receive from tourists.”

Last year Candyland brought an estimated 30,000 visitors, and this year could draw an even bigger crowd.

“We’re expecting roughly 50,000 visitors, but there is no way to be certain,” Johnson said. “There were people from all over last year, and it will probably be the same this year.”

The Christmas in Candyland event will continue this weekend.