ARS-WUSA Winter Wonderland Draws Thousands

A scene from last weekend's ARS Winter Wonderlan

GLENDALE—Nearly 6,000 children, parents, and visitors gathered at the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA’s (ARS-WUSA) Winter Wonderland on January 14-15, 2012, at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church.

The main draw of the two-day event was the snow area, which featured a slide and play space for children.  Hundreds waited in line to experience the wonder of snow in Glendale!  Several carnival-style attractions, including a Ferris Wheel and Super Slide, also offered great fun for enthusiasts. The venue came alive with children running from one ride to another in anticipation of their next thrill-seeking experience.

“I can’t wait to play in there!” exclaimed Arek, 5, and the sentiment was clearly the same for all the children, whose eyes appeared to gleam with excitement.

People also gathered indoors where children’s game booths and vendors lined the church hall. Onlookers delighted in the wide variety of festival foods served by volunteers as song and dance performances offered ongoing entertainment.

Reflecting on the event, Dr. Nyree Derderian, Regional Executive Chairperson, remarked “Once again, the ARS turned its attention to the younger generation and succeeded by introducing the ARS in a different way to the public.”

Erebouni Dance Group, Holy Cross Armenian Church Dance Group (Montebello), Krounk Dance Studio, and Kilikia Art Studio participated in the dance portion of the program. Song performances were performed by Gevorg Chakmanyan, Varuhi Shahinian, Roberta and Alla Arevyan, Sarkis Tamazyan and Vahe Gharibyan of Hamazkayin’s Barouir Sevag Chapter’s “Daron” choir, and the Ararat Charter School choir.

Volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this event, which was the first of its kind for the ARS-WUSA. Proceeds from Winter Wonderland will go to the ARS-WUSA’s ongoing local and international programs benefiting individuals and communities most in need.


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  1. Mike Tee said:

    This even was really, really expensive and very dull and boring, we just went home disappointed. There really was not rides for all ages as promised. I have a 4 year old and 2 year olds and the only ride they were able to go on was the slide, so we ended up spending $45.00 for them to slide down a few times and we just went home. The snow area was tiny with nothing really to do with hundreds in line and 4 tickets per child, which was about $3.00 per child to see snow. There was nothing to do, no food, no ice cream, no games, nothing. Not sure who had planned this, but they really did a bad job. You pay $3.00 per person to get in and you get absolutely nothing for your $3.00, then you have to buy tickets, which were about 60 cents each if you buy them in bulk. There were 4 rides, all for adults or teenagers, and for each ride you needed 4 tickets per kid. It would have been cheaper to go to Disneyland. This even was horrible, just horrible and everyone we spoke to who were there, they had nothing but bad things to say. Everyone understands that this is for a good cause, but you were better off telling all of us to give you $50.00 and stay home, rather than get our hopes up and get the kids there to see rides they cannot go on, this was planned very poorly.

    • Arman said:

      Yeah…..that picture doesn’t look too attractive, doesn’t look too fun or exciting, just people waiting in long lines…I don’t see any wonder in this “Winter Wonderland”… sorry you and your family had a terrible time. It doesn’t look well planned at all, like you said.