March 4, 2024

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Holiday Train is coming to Elbow Lake

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Reed Anfinson
Publisher

When the Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) Holiday Train arrives in Elbow Lake Friday, Dec. 15, it brings with it star power. But it also brings with it a mission to raise funds and food for families who rely on the local food shelves for their meals.

CPKC will be donating to the Grant County Emergency Food Shelf, and the Hoffman-Kensington Area Food Shelf. It is hoping area residents will also make generous donations to their local food shelves. Representatives of the local food shelves will be on site to take donations.

The Holiday Train is scheduled to arrive in Elbow Lake at 4:15 p.m. Dec. 15, stopping at the CPKC intersection with U.S. Highway 59. The event is free.

Headlining this year’s performance in Elbow Lake are country stars MacKenzie Porter and Dallas Smith who will perform between 4:30 and 5 p.m. – more on them later in this story.

As the lighted and decorated Holiday Train travels across Canada and the United States, its lights stay on when traveling on tracks owned by CPKC.  Each Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet long and consists of 14 rail cars decorated with LED lights and holiday designs.

The 2023 CPKC Holiday Train tours Canada and the United States from Nov. 20 through Dec. 19, raising money, food, and awareness for the important work that food banks do in their communities. 

Supper will be served in the Sanford Room of the Community Center by the MOPS organization after the Holiday Train leaves. 

Set up for the Holiday Market is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Holiday Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be present from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 16.

Food shelf donations accepted from Thanksgiving through Dec. 16 at many Chamber locations. Cash and check  donations are much appreciated.

What is the Holiday Train event like?

A typical Holiday Train event generally follows this schedule and performance:

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, followed by a brief presentation with the local food bank officials and other dignitaries on stage. 

Once the presentation is done, the band resumes the show, singing a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs and popular original songs.  

After the final song, the boxcar door closes, and the train is on its way to the next stop.   

CPKC asks that those attending the Holiday Train events keep a safe distance from the train at all times so the train can continue safely on its journey.

MacKenzie Porter

Rising to international acclaim with a distinct country-pop shimmer, Canada-born and Nashville-based MacKenzie Porter’s is a star in country music with a growing resume of hits.

Her critically acclaimed “Thinking ‘Bout You,” duet with Dustin Lynch topped the charts for six-weeks in the U.S. She is now working on her full-length Big Loud Records debut due for release in 2024. 

Her hit “Pickup” earned Porter a 2023 CMT Music Awards nomination for Breakthrough Female Video of the Year. 

Porter was the only female in her category nominated for Favorite Country Song at the 2022 American Music Awards. Her 2022 MusicRow Discovery Artist of the Year award has earned 22 CCMA nominations, including a nod for Entertainer of the Year, and most recently won Musical Collaboration of the Year at the 2023 CCMA awards. 

She is the first female this century to have six No. 1 songs at Canadian country radio. As an actress, she starred in cult-followed sci-fi television series Travelers. 

After touring the globe opening for Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Walker Hayes, Jordan Davis, Brad Paisley, Dallas Smith, and Rascal Flatts, Porter just wrapped her own debut Canadian headline tour.

Dallas Smith

Big Loud artist Dallas Smith is a three-time consecutive CCMA Entertainer of the Year, and now his U.S. debut. 

He has 18 gold-certified singles, seven platinum-certified singles, and four gold-certified albums. 

 Offering a preview of his latest project, Smith released “One Too” with label mate MacKenzie Porter that Country Now dubbed a “heartfelt breakup collaboration,” as well as the flirtatious “Singing In A Beer.” 

Smith’s first full-length project with Big Loud Records, his self-titled, fifth studio album produced by longtime collaborator Joey Moi, is out now.

‘CPKC Has Heart’ is this year’s theme

Since its inception in 1999, the CPKC Holiday Train has raised more than $22.5 million and more than 5 million pounds of food for community food banks across North America.

“CPKC Has Heart” is the railroad company’s community investment program aimed at improving the heart health of adults and children in communities across North America. Heart disease can affect anyone regardless of age or gender.

Prevention is key to eliminating the effects of heart disease and one of the ways in which we hope to help is by spreading the message of the importance of quality nutrition. 

“We encourage those attending the events to make a monetary donation or donate heart healthy food items, because regardless of circumstance, we believe that everyone should have access to healthy, nutritious food,” CPKC President and Chief Executive Officer, Keith Creel said.

“The Holiday Train program is close to the hearts of our CPKC family. Our railroaders take great joy in joining communities across our network as they come together in the giving spirit of the holidays,” he said.

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