Record crowd turns out for Oldsmar’s Christmas Wonderland event

Scene from the 2015 Oldsmar Christmas Wonderland event, held at R.E. Olds Park on Friday, Dec. 4.

Scene from the 2015 Oldsmar Christmas Wonderland event, held at R.E. Olds Park on Friday, Dec. 4.

The weather outside was anything but frightful last Friday night – actually, it was quite delightful, especially for an outdoor holiday event.

The cool temps combined with plenty of fun, family friendly activities led to a record crowd for Oldsmar’s 2015 Christmas Wonderland, causing long lines for food and attraction tickets.

But while officials contemplated what to do about the turnout, which was the second such record setting holiday event in the city last week, attendees praised the overall execution of the event.

Oldsmar City Council members Dan Saracki and Linda Norris.

Oldsmar City Council members Dan Saracki and Linda Norris at the 2015 Christmas Wonderland.

“Wow, I can’t believe the crowd this year,” City Council member Linda Norris told Oldsmar Connect.

“Next year we need more volunteers, more snow ramps, more everything!”

Dan Saracki agreed with his fellow council member

“This is the biggest turnout for this event I’ve ever seen,” Saracki said, adding, “This is really incredible. I love it!”

Oldsmar resident Hannah Mills, who attended the event with her husband and two young daughters, said the Christmas Wonderland was, well, wonderful, despite the long lines.

“We loved the idea of getting our community together to celebrate this time of year,” Mills said. “The event turned out great, and my oldest daughter was completely star struck seeing Santa in real life. Magic was certainly in the air in Oldsmar.”

“However, I wish the lines had not been so long we would have really enjoyed playing in the snow more.”

Scene from Oldsmar's 2015 Christmas Wonderland event.

Scene from Oldsmar’s 2015 Christmas Wonderland event.

While people of all ages waited to slide down the 10-foot tall snow ramp, ride the miniature ponies and play in the snowball pen, the Muppets Christmas Carol played on a large blow up screen on the stage while Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for pictures and handed out presents.

With snow cones — and hot chocolate — doing a brisk business, families camped out on the grass, eating and chatting while kids ran around freely.

In the midst of all the action, Oldsmar City Council member Eric Seidel summed the evening up perfectly.

“People keep asking me where the lines start, and I tell them I have no idea. There’s lines just to get in the lines!” Seidel said, adding next year the city might want to explore selling tickets in advance.

“But to me, this is the kind of event that makes Oldsmar Oldsmar.”

Here’s a look at some of the sights from Oldsmar’s 2105 Christmas Wonderland event at R.E. Olds Park:

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