“Santa? Whoa, open up a passage way, Santa’s coming. Here we go”, said Executive Director of Albany Pal Lenny Ricchiuti.
Santa Clause came all the way from the North Pole to see the opening of the Capital Holiday Lights in the Park. One hundred and twenty-eight displays lined the road through this fantasy land.
“The kids love it, I love it. Seeing Santa every year, seeing the lights turn on, seeing all of their eyes get really big and all of the joy. It’s the best”, said 19 year patron Jermaine Carter.
Jermaine brought his family to the park for opening night to get a jump-start on the holiday season. This is his two-year old daughter’s second time here. She loved the lights, but had to work out some kinks in other areas.
“She wouldn’t say hi to Santa, she was a little scared of him because he’s big and red. But she did take the candy can from him and give him a high-five”, said Carter.
Over one million lights give the park a glow that almost looks like Christmas. Each one of the lights represents the potential of a child at the Albany Pal. The money raised goes to furthering their programs to make our city and our children better.
“It’s awesome to see the growth and the change in our youth. We’ve got a lot of great kids out there and they just need a chance to shine, and that’s what the lights do. It gives them a chance to shine”, said Ricchiuti
For nineteen years now, these lights have been ushering people in to the holiday spirit. For Jermaine it’s a signal that a new year is around the corner, but he says the end of the year is always the best.
“Definitely, I feel so much better coming here every year. It definitely kicks off the Christmas season for us”, said Carter.