CP Holiday Train is coming to the Elk Valley

Decorated rail cars will be the stage for musicians entertaining locals at stops which include Sparwood and Fernie.

The CP Holiday Train will be coming to the Elk Valley, stopping in Sparwood, Fernie and Jaffray on Dec. 10. Major James Hagglund will be there to accept donations collected at the event on behalf of the local food bank.

Since the Holiday Train program first launched in 1999, it has raised $7.4 million and three million pounds of food for local communities.

Musicians traveling aboard the trains will play more than 150 free concerts from their boxcar stage.

Canadian Pacific Railway asks that attendees bring a non-perishable food or cash donation, and all donations stay with the food shelf in the community where they’re donated. Items like infant formula, canned meats, and spaghetti sauce are in particular demand for the millions of North American’s who turn to food banks each month.

Each Holiday Train consists of 14 brightly decorated railcars, including a modified boxcar that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers. For the fifteenth year, CP’s elves have updated the thousands of LED  lights that adorn the sides of both trains with new holiday designs.

A typical Holiday Train event goes something like this: The train arrives and pulls to a safe stop in front of the crowd. The stage door lowers and the band opens with its first song. After that, a brief ceremony takes place which involves local food bank officials and other dignitaries. Once complete, the band resumes its show. After about a half hour that usually includes a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs, the band plays its farewell show, the boxcar door closes, and the train slips off into the night on its way to the next stop.

For 2013, Holiday Train supporters will enjoy the music of Jim Cuddy, Matt Dusk, Doc Walker, Melanie Doane, Tracey Brown, Willy Porter, The Claytones and other musical guests.

For additional information, visit: www.cpr.ca. Supporters can also join the Holiday Train on Facebook and follow the two trains on Twitter @CPHolidaytrain #CPHolidayTrain.

Sparwood, British Columbia 367 Pine Ave., behind leisure centre  3:45 pm

Fernie, British Columbia 700 – 1st Ave, behind the CP station  5:30 pm

Jaffray, British Columbia across from the community centre  Stop N’ Go, 6:15 pm