The gala “Holly Trolley” featuring Santa Claus and his public sector equivalent, Mayor Paul Dyster, will be making the holiday rounds again this year on Dec. 2. The trolley will leave City Hall at 5:15 pm, stop at Gill Creek Park at 5:20 pm, Tom Barber Park, next to Foley’s at 5:55 pm, drive through LaSalle Waterfront Park and Hyde Park, stop at 6:45 pm in Highland Community Park, at 7:15 pm at Columbus Park on Pine Avenue, at Schoellkopf Health Center at 7:35 pm, drive around the Niagara Tourism and Convention Center for no apparent reason, stop on the middle block of Old Falls Street at 8 pm and then return to City Hall.
“What goes on at the stops?” asked Kateri Kraft on the “Old Falls Street USA – Niagara Falls Holly Trolley” 2015 Facebook page.
“The Holly Trolley is an annual tradition in Niagara Falls and is a way for school-aged children to visit different business districts during the holiday season. Each stop does something different. Santa rides the bus with the children and their chaperones. The children also sing carols at some of the stops. For more information on how to board the Holly Trolley, contact the City Administrator’s Office at (716) 286-4320,” answered Old Falls Street USA.
A “way for school-aged children to visit different business districts”? Sounds like fun, boys and girls!
“Financial aid day (Christmas) – In this celebration of the feast of Christmas and new year period, Madam Bucheron Henriette helps you cope with the generated aggregates,” posted an individual named Kolombo Chinorse on the same Old Falls Street USA – Holly Trolley thread on December 12, 2015, which remains undeleted a year later.
“If you’re interested get in less than 48 hours the amount requested on your account and all your problems will be solved and the holiday trade… I received a loan of 20,000 dollars repayable over 7 years.”
If Old Falls Street USA publicized the Holly Trolley on Facebook this year, we’re at a loss trying to find it. While a press release was sent out, it could be that the event is being downplayed this year after last year’s Trolley turned out to be a tragedy for the dozens of children and their families who turned out at City Market only to have Santa and the Holly Trolley not show up.
“This evening a group of families and children gathered in the cold awaiting for Santa to come on the Trolley at the City Market,” one parent posted on social media. “We took no pleasure in telling these children Santa couldn’t make it. Heart wrenching to watch these children cry. This was inexcusable and cruel. Shame on this (Dyster) administration.”
The same parent called City Hall the next day to complain and was told that a report of a suicidal man with a gun on 15th Street kept Dyster, Santa and the Holly Trolley away.
“So there’s a dangerous situation happening and they leave a bunch of children there but are too afraid to show up themselves?”
Old Falls Street USA is run by Comcast Spectacor, which also owns and operates the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center venue. Comcast Spectacor is in turn a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation, a multi-billion dollar Fortune 50 media and technology conglomerate that operates Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. For 2015, Comcast reported revenues in excess of $74 billion.
On Nov. 26, here in the city, which is the per capita poorest, highest taxed and most violent in New York State, Comcast (2015 revenues: $74 billion) offshoot Old Falls Street USA will be celebrating “Small Business Saturday” by giving free buggy rides up and down the street.
Cash gifts, donations of unwrapped toys for the Niagara Falls Firefighters Toy Fund, as well as non-perishable food items, hats, gloves, scarves, soap and shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes will be accepted for the poor of Niagara Falls by the Holly Trolley, which is being sponsored by Comcast, a Fortune 50 company with 2015 revenues in excess of $74 billion.
Thanks, Comcast! Merry Christmas!