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Holiday Train delivers dose of Christmas

A crowd of people both young and old enjoyed Christmas music by Tracey Brown and The Claytones on Friday when the Holiday Train stopped near 8th Avenue East in Alexandria. (Photo by Lowell Anderson)1 / 2
A crowd gathered to watch and be entertained by Tracey Brown and The Claytones on the Holiday Train. (Photo by Lowell Anderson)2 / 2

The Canadian Pacific's Holiday Train rolled into Alexandria last Friday, bringing festive Christmas music and help for the hungry.

Those who showed up to watch a concert performed from a boxcar donated about 360 pounds of food and $385 in cash for the Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf.

The Holiday Train donated another $1,000.

The brightly decorated train rides the rails to raise money and awareness about hunger issues in Canada and the U.S., one stop at a time.

Again this year, two Holiday Trains are visiting more than 150 communities, beginning their journeys in Beaconsfield, Canada and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Since 1999, the Holiday Train program has raised nearly $6.4 million and about 2.6 million pounds of food for North American food banks.

With families continuing to turn to food banks, the need is always present, according to Canadian Pacific leaders. Items such as infant formula, canned meats, and spaghetti sauce are in popular demand.

Each Holiday Train has 14 festively decorated rail cars, including a modified boxcar that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers.

The entertainers at this year's Alexandria show were Tracey Brown and The Claytones.

The rail cars are each decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED Christmas lights.

For additional information, photos, a route map and downloadable pictures of the two trains, visit:

Supporters can also join the Holiday Train on Facebook and on Twitter @CPHolidaytrain.


The Canadian Pacific (CP) provided the following fun facts about the Holiday Train program:

• Since 1999, the Holiday Trains have traveled more than 100,000 miles, enough to go around the world more than three and a half times

• It takes 30 "CP elves" 100 days to completely transform and decorate the Holiday Trains before they start their journey across Canada and the U.S.

• More than 30,000 candy canes are handed out to kids at Holiday Train events. In the first 13 years of the Holiday Train program, it is estimated that more than a quarter of a million candy canes have been given out to children as treats.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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