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Tuesday September 18, 2018

record attendance for pioneer land christmas

Monday, December 04, 2017 16:41 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Attendance for the 20th annual Christmas at Pioneer Land at the LaPorte County fairgrounds shattered last year's record.

Volunteers at the 1830's village had to bake thousands of more cookies for Sunday after running out during Saturday's openhouse.

A second horse drawn wagon helped accommodate the crowd but the wait for rides outside the blacksmith shop was still long.

The line to see Santa stretched 150 feet past the throngs of people sitting around the open fire all the way to the General Store.

''It's super. Super. Super,'' said Carl Schultz, a volunteer manning the fire pit beside the log cabin.

Dick Reel, considered the father of Pioneer Land, estimated weekend attendance at more than 7,000 or 40-percent more than the old record set in 2016.

''It is great. Amazing,'' said Reel at the forefront when the first of more than a dozen Pioneer Land buildings went up in 1995.

Unseasonably warm temperatures and dry conditions were cited for the strongest ever turnout along with word about the only village like it in the area continuing to spread
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