Holiday Train a Christmas tradition

Lisa Goudy
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Moose Jaw stop draws large crowd despite chilly temperatures

Krista Moffatt was pregnant with her first child when she saw her first Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train.

Eight years later, no matter the weather, she and her kids haven’t missed a year yet.

“They love it. They don’t want to leave,” said Moffatt after the performances of the holiday train Thursday night, adding she enjoyed the lights on the train. “We love it. It’s our tradition … Doc Walker was awesome.”

She was one of many people who came out to see the CP holiday train and donate to the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank. Despite Moose Jaw being under a wind chill warning with temperatures feeling like - 40 Celsius, the crowd cheered, smiled and danced during the performances of Juno Award winner Melanie Doane, country band Doc Walker and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

“It’s great. Everybody’s braving the temperatures,” said CP Holiday Train spokesperson Salem Woodrow. “People are dressed up and they’re here and they’re supporting the program and that’s really what counts.”

The train has 14 decorated railcars with thousands of LED Christmas lights. Since the launch of the program in 1999, the holiday train has raised $7.4 million and three million pounds of food for local communities.

“We continue to throw the focus on the important role and the important part that food banks play in the community and the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is all about raising money, food and awareness for local food banks,” said Woodrow. “We have a lot of support in Moose Jaw in general.

“I actually have a lot of family and friends here. So that’s my part of it, but the Moose Jaw stop has been great and Saskatchewan in general has just been fantastic.”

She added the community support is the most special part of the CP Holiday Train.

This year the train will make 150 stops in Canada and the United States. She said so far, the journey has gone really well. Before hitting the Friendly City Thursday night, the train stopped in Regina.

Woodrow emphasized how important it is to collect donations for the local food bank.

“The cold reality is that lots of people don’t have enough to eat. We live in a society where a lot of people have a lot, but people are continuing to turn to local food banks,” she said. “Canadian Pacific and the Holiday Train is out there to help people and support them.

“So we’ve been travelling across the country. It’s a little cold, but we still get great crowds and everybody’s out here to support.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Canadian Pacific, CP Holiday Train, Moose Jaw and District Food Bank

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada United States Friendly Regina

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