Holiday Train hits town tomorrow, headlining Jim Cuddy
Monday’s the big day! The CP Holiday Train will be making tracks through Castlegar tomorrow (Monday), raising awareness, food and funds for the food bank.
Festivities are set to begin at 3:30 p.m., and admission is free, but those who can are asked to bring a food or cash donation for the Community Harvest Food Bank – a small price, indeed, for the awesome entertainment on tap, featuring Blue Rodeo front man Jim Cuddy and his son Devin, along with Kelly Prescott and Chic Gamine, not to mention an appearance by Santa himself, who will be rocking the boxcar as well.
“It’s always a fabulous event,” said food bank manager Deb McIntosh. “The entertainment is world-class, the lighting is magical, and it’s a wonderful way to bring all ages in the community together.
“It’s also our last big event, the one that pushes us over the top to fill the Christmas hampers, with enough extra to see us through the first couple of months of 2016,” she added. “In fact, this is crucial to our survival throughout the first six months of the New Year, so please, bring money and bring food … and dance, and get your Christmas on.”
There will be hot chocolate and food vendors on site, as well as burn barrels to help keep you warm and add to the festive light display.
She said the food bank is giving out close to 300 hampers this year – Monday is also, incidentally, the cut-off for applying for hampers, which volunteers will spend packing up on Dec. 17 and 18.
Of course, donations are always welcome: food drop-off locations in Castlegar for Community Harvest Food Bank include: Fireside Inn, Chamber of Commerce/Info Center, Kootenay Gallery, Kootenay Market, Extra Foods, Safeway, Supercat Studios and City Hall.
The Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 brightly decorated rail cars. They are each decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED lights and holiday designs. Two trains traverse the continent each year, one crossing in Canada and the other in the U.S., stopping in Castlegar on alternating years.
Since 1999, the Holiday Train has raised over $10.6 million and 3.3 million pounds of food for North American food banks. Everything raised in each community stays in that community, and CP additionally makes donations at each stop.