Hundreds gathered when the CP HOliday Train visited Creston in 2011.

Hundreds gathered when the CP HOliday Train visited Creston in 2011.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train returning to Creston Dec. 11

Web Lead

  • Dec. 5, 2013 6:00 a.m.

After a year’s absence, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is set to arrive in Creston at 10 a.m. Dec. 11.

Featuring 14 brightly decorated cars, the Holiday Train includes a modified car that turns into a travelling stage for Canadian musical performers.

“The excitement that comes with the train is amazing,” said Creston Mayor Ron Toyota. “And it helps highlight the need to support our local food bank.”

Now in its 15th year, the Holiday Train (there are actually two, one in the U.S. and one in Canada) travels about 10,000 kilometres each December, visiting about 150 communities along the way. It raises awareness, money and food for food banks and hunger issues. All money raised in our community stays right here.

“I think I can, I think I can, I know we can all make a difference,” Toyota said. “That’s what I think of when I think Holiday Train.”

For his part, Toyota has issued a challenge of his own in his quest to raise $5,000.

“I will personally be giving $500 to this worthy cause and it is my challenge to every employed or successfully employed retired person that they contribute what they can,” he said. “For those able to give $20 or more a tax receipt is available.”

The Creston Valley Gleaners Society food bank welcomes gifts of non-perishable food items at this — and any — time of year. Some of the most needed items are pasta products and rice, canned meats and fish, dry and canned soups, canned fruits and vegetables, nutritious breakfast cereals, peanut butter, canned or powdered milk and fruit juices. The society contributes food to many programs in the community, helping preschool and daycare-aged children, children in schools and seniors.

Since its inception in 1999, the Holiday Train has raised nearly $7.4 million and about three million pounds of food for North American food banks. In addition to locally raised funds, CP Rail also makes donations at each stop. Last year about 20,000 candy canes were handed out along the way.

The 2013 CP Holiday Train will make its stop in Creston behind Millennium Park (as in 2011; photos on the Advance‘s Facebook page) and is expected to attract hundreds of supporters to mark the holiday season.

The Canadian Holiday Train will wrap up its three-week journey in Port Coquitlam on Dec. 16, and features Melanie Doane with special guests Doc Walker, Brothers Dube, Crystal Shawanda, Jim Cuddy and Matt Dusk.