In what has become a seasonal favorite, Canadian Pacific Railroad's Holiday Train has pulled into town, and this year with an expanded schedule.
After stops Friday in Cottage Grove and St. Paul's Union Depot, the train decked with thousands of colorful lights and performances by award-winning Canadian musican Colin James and Kelly Prescott will stop Saturday in New Hope, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park and northeast Minneapolis. At each stop, a stage folds down and the singers step out to perform a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs during the 20-minute shows.
The free concert and light show is also a charity event, raising money, food and awareness for food banks and hunger issues. The train has raised more than $10.6 million for food shelves and collected 3.3 million pounds of food since 1999.
"Spending a couple weeks on a train and pulling into some of these idyllic towns will not only be a new experience for me but a fantastic way to ring in the Christmas season," James said.
This is the 18th year the train has rolled across Canada and the United States.
"We are proud of the role the Holiday Train plays, but more importantly, we're proud of the people and families that come out year after year to help their neighbors," said Hunter Harrison, CP's Chief Executive Officer.
Here is Saturday's schedule:
New Hope: 2:20 to 3 p.m., railroad crossing next to New Hope Ice Arena on 49th Avenue N.
Golden Valley: 3:35 to 4:10 p.m., railroad crossing on Golden Hills Drive.
St. Louis Park: 4:35 to 5:15 p.m., railroad crossing near St. Louis Park Emergency Program, 6812 W. Lake Street.
Northeast Minneapolis: 7 to 7:45 p.m., Lions Park on 37th Ave, between 37th Avenue and Stinson Blvd.