Arena To Host Santa Express Saturday

Santa Claus arriving to the Jamestown Gateway Train Station during last year’s Santa Express event. This year’s event will be held at Northwest Arena, located at 319 W. Third St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
P-J photo by Katrina Fuller

Santa Claus arriving to the Jamestown Gateway Train Station during last year’s Santa Express event. This year’s event will be held at Northwest Arena, located at 319 W. Third St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. P-J photo by Katrina Fuller

The venue has changed, but Santa Claus will still be visiting downtown Jamestown via an express locomotive Saturday.

The annual Santa Express event will be happening at Northwest Arena from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is the fourth year for the event, which occurred in past years at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station. Because of the construction of the National Comedy Center, the event has been moved to the arena, located at 319 W. Third St.

Even though the train station will no longer be used for the event, Jolly Old St. Nick will still be arriving by train.

”We worked with Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad to have Santa come in by train,” said Lee Harkness, Jamestown Area Railway Heritage Center committee spokesperson. ”He will be down on the tracks behind the train station and then we will bring Santa up to the arena.”

Harkness said children and adults will be able to have their photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the arena. He said there will be lots of crafts like cookie decorating and games for the family to enjoy. Also, there will be ice skating available.

”We want to have the ice rink decorated like Rockefeller Center,” he said. ”Also, the Jamestown Skating Club and the (Southern Tier Xpress) will be there.”

There will also be a fund raiser for the Jamestown Area Railway Heritage Center. During Santa Express, artificial Christmas trees will be auctioned to raise money for the restoration project of the former engine barn that is located west of the former Erie-Lackawanna Train Station. Harkness said the highest bids for each tree will be determined Monday, Dec. 12, so the auction winners can have the tree for Christmas.

”The money we get from the trees will go to refurbish the engine house,” Harkness said. ”If we have any trees left over, they will be donated to a charitable group to be given to those who might not have a Christmas tree.”

Earlier this year, the committee was formed to renovate the former engine house. Once renovated, the facility will be open to the public and house other historical artifacts related to the rail industry. Harkness said it will be the future home of Jamestown Street Railway Trolley Car No. 93.

A fund has been established at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to accept donation for the engine house restoration project. People interested in donating can send a check to the Community Foundation with a note stating the funds are for the Jamestown Area Railway Heritage Center. To learn more about how to donate, visit crcfonline.org or send a check to 418 Spring St., Jamestown, NY, 14701.

For more information about the project or Santa Express, call Harkness at 338-6089.

Santa Express cost $5 for adults and $2 for children.

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