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Holiday Train rolls through with entertainment and fundraising

Santa and his helpers rocked Main Street Carpio December 16th when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolled into town.

12/22/10 (Wed)

Rap'n Santa . . . Santa received a cheer from the crowd
as he rapped the CP Holiday Train's opening number with
popular Canadian musician Melanie Doane (right) during
their stop on Carpio's Main Street December 16th.


Raising funds and awareness for the Kenmare Food
Pantry . . .
Food Pantry co-coordinator Jane Kalmbach and
Carpio mayor Jamie Armstrong, both at left, receive a donation
of $1000 from CP Railway to help stock the shelves for families
in need this winter. Another $600 in cash and 600 pounds
of food were collected as a result of the Holiday Train event
and efforts of the Carpio Fire Department.

By Caroline Downs

Santa and his helpers rocked Main Street Carpio December 16th when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolled into town.
About 200 people were on hand to enjoy the Christmas lights and music and share nonperishable food items and cash to benefit the Kenmare Food Pantry.
After the fog cleared from Santa’s opening rap song with Canadian musician and entertainer Melanie Doane, representatives from CP Railway presented a check for $1000 to Jamie Armstrong, mayor of Carpio, and Jane Kalmbach, co-coordinator of the Kenmare Food Pantry.
The crowd cheered at the size of the donation. Kalmbach thanked CP Railway for their contribution and members of the audience for bringing bags of groceries that evening as a donation for the cause. “We’ve given out 11,000 pounds of food at the Kenmare Food Pantry this year,” she said. “We thank you for your generosity!”
Members of the Carpio Fire Department collected the items brought by the crowd. Together with nine boxes of food the department received during their Haunted House event co-sponsored with the Burlington Fire Department in October, an estimated 500 to 600 pounds of groceries were ready for delivery to the Kenmare Food Pantry.
Almost $600 was raised through cash donations and CD sales that evening, too. Copies of “Holiday Train Tracks” featuring songs by Holiday Train performers across the U.S. and Canada, including Doane, Kelly Prescott, the Odds, the Brothers Dube and special guest the Barenaked Ladies, sold out during the performance.
The crowd clapped and stamped their feet to the rhythms of Doane’s Celtic solo violin performance, the driving “Run Run Rudolph,” and a handful of other holiday blues and rock tunes while Santa shared candy canes with all the kids. The whistle sounded too soon on the frigid night and the Christmas elves and CP representatives said their farewells as the train pulled out of Carpio to continue the journey into Canada.
The U.S. Midwest Holiday train left the station at Pingree Grove, Illinois on December 4th and made stops in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota before arriving in North Dakota on December 15th. Severe snowstorms cancelled some of the train’s scheduled appearances in Minnesota, but audiences in North Dakota enjoyed the Holiday Train’s stops in Hankinson, Enderlin, Harvey and Minot before arriving in Carpio.
The train rumbled into Saskatchewan after crossing the international border at noon last Friday, visiting crowds in North Portal, Estevan and Weyburn before shutting down the engines in time to get Santa back to the North Pole for Christmas.
This is the 12th year the Holiday Train has been raising food, money and awareness for food banks in communities across Canada and the U.S., with $4.8 million and 2.3 million pounds of food raised through the program to date.
At the events, the Holiday Train provides a boxcar stage, a line-up of outstanding musical talents and a contribution to the local food bank. Each community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stays in that community. Residents in about 140 cities and towns on both sides of the border were able to join the spirit and magic of the Holiday Train this year.
CP Railway also operates Holiday Train routes across six Canadian provinces and through the northeastern United States. Since 1999, the trains have traveled 85,764 miles--enough to go around the world 3.5 times.
Each Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 rail cars covered with hundreds of thousands of LED Christmas lights. The two trains are assembled and decorated by CP employees in Montreal, Smiths Falls and Calgary. Both the U.S. and Canadian Holiday Trains are powered by GE-built 4,400 hp high-performance locomotives that feature four diesel generators to supply power to the light systems.
The CP Holiday Train has inspired its first-ever animated music video, now playing on YouTube, in which MC Elfie and Santa both rap about the Train. Watch the video at
More information about the CP Holiday Train, along with pictures taken along the route, can be found on the link at the CP Railway website at

Front row view . . . About 200 people of all ages braved
the cold air late Thursday night for the energetic musical
performances on the Holiday Train. Melanie Doane, center stage,
had the crowd stamping, clapping and dancing to
several blues and rock Christmas tunes.