Monday, December 15, 2008

The Sweetest Christmas Celebration on Earth: Part 2

Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane has been spreading holiday cheer since 1983.

Candylane began as a rather primitive event, confined to a small area near the front of the park and featuring little more than shopping and food. But like most other park-hosted holiday events, it has grown more and more elaborate with age.

That is one rockin' (and ROLLIN') bovine. This sculpture, a participant in Harrisburg's rendition of the CowParade art event, was actually designed by Bill Dussinger, a senior graphic designer at Hersheypark. Here's another fun fact: The lapbar, seat, and wheels are authentic parts taken from Hersheypark roller coasters!

Guests delight in the joys of the season under the watchful eye of founder Milton S. Hershey.

The Kissmas Tree breaks the mold: Rather than placing wrapped gifts under this tree, they simply hang from its boughs!

The Christmas Candylane of today allows guests to enjoy numerous rides in addition to the traditional decorations and specialty shops. Whenever I visit this area of the park, I feel compelled to observe a moment of silence in honor of the Giant Wheel (R.I.P.), which used to occupy this space.

Well, well, well: If it isn't my arch nemesis, Great Bear! Just look at it standing there taunting me, as if to say, "HA HA HA! You can't ride me yet again!" I'll get you, my pretty...

Storm Runner, with its festive red and white color scheme, is naturally Christmasy. As a person who has been visiting Hersheypark since around the age of three, I still have to do a double take when I look across the park and see sights like this!

The little ones can visit the big white-bearded fellow himself at Santa's Candy Cottage.

Is a "hot apple cider smoothie" supposed to sound appetizing? Not sure I'm feeling the love there...

Can I get a collective "Awwwww" for the reindeer? This is always one of my favorite stops at Candylane!

Here stands the only thing in the state of Pennsylvania that was 97 degrees this weekend.

Fahrenheit has got to be the most photogenic gosh darned coaster I have ever seen. Even my crappy camera can't make it look bad! That's hot.

Construction photo op--SCORE!

DRAT!!! Hersheypark had foiled my plans! But luckily for you, my iron will is not deterred so easily. I hopped on board the Candylane Twilight Express (a.k.a. Dry Gulch Railroad) and was able to capture the following shots during my leisurely journey.

Oh, who am I kidding--You can't see jack squat in these photos! Just some heavy machinery and a few mounds of dirt being pushed around. But do I at least get an "A" for effort? Please?

Hang onto your hearts at Hersheypark, my friends. You never know when somebody tall, dark and tasty will come along and sweep you off your feet...

The park certainly looked festive enough during the daylight hours, but the beauty of its many twinkling lights is best appreciated after the sun goes down. I would have loved to witness that sight for myself; but alas, it simply was not in the cards for me this weekend!

Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane never disappoints, and this year was no exception. If you'd like to see the rest of my Candylane photos--and believe me, there are a LOT more where these came from--I have posted them on the NPN Facebook page for your viewing pleasure. And by the way, Facebook pages are publicly accessible so you do not need to have a Facebook account to visit ours!