Reopened Santa's Village feeds nostalgia

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Santa's Village Azoosment Park

Aricelia Mendez, 6, of Rockford, waves to her Aunt while riding the Roto Whip ride at Santa's Village Azoosement Park in East Dundee. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune / August 14, 2012)

“So where are the hand cars?” Turlow asks, referring to a ride that had been auctioned off.

“Georgia,” says Holliman.

“Florida,” Sierpien corrects.

“Georgia,” Holliman says again.

“Georgia, you're right,” says Sierpien.

Turlow, for the sake of a photograph, is allowed onto the Kiddie Whip in abject violation of the size restrictions. She looks ecstatic.

“Thank you so much,” she says, after exiting. “I have not gotten to ride that particular ride since I was 5 years old.”

After the ride arrived from Kiddieland and he first looked at it, Sierpien says “a panic set in that we had gotten ripped off.”

“I said, ‘Wait a minute. This is not the same ride I remember. It was much bigger.'”

Then, of course, he realized that he was remembering it from the perspective of a child.

Twitter @StevenKJohnson

Santa's Village AZoosment Park

When: When: Open six days a week (closed Tuesdays) through Aug. 26; then open on weekends and select Mondays through October.

Where: 601 Dundee Ave., East Dundee (just north of I-90 and south of Higgins Road)

Tickets: General admission $17.75; seniors $14.75; children ages 2 and younger free
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