The CP Holiday Train will be stopping at five Central Alberta communities in December beginning with Blackfalds to raise donations for local food banks.
The train pulls into Blackfalds on Dec. 7 at 12:45 p.m. for 45 minutes before it continues to Lacombe for 2 p.m. and then to Ponoka for 3:45 p.m. On Dec. 9, the train will be at Innisfail at 1:15 p.m. and goes to Olds for 2:35 p.m.
“We’re quite excited. We had the Holiday Train last year. There was a great turnout,” said Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol on Friday.
“There was absolutely over 1,000 people. We closed off one street and the street was packed. Our park was packed. It was absolutely phenomenal.”
She said the train stopped in Blackfalds at the evening last year. This year it’s a daytime event, at the CP tracks at Gregg Street between Broadway and East Avenues, from 1 to 1:30 p.m. featuring Dallas Smith & Odds.
Stol said the event is coming at just the right time to help out with the increased demand at the local food bank.
Jeanette Edwards, Blackfalds Food Bank manager, said so far this month the food bank has given out 40 food hampers. Last November, about 20 hampers were required.
“We do anywhere from 40 to 60 hampers a month and we’re only open one day a week. We are really increasing,” Edwards said.
She said the busy, little food bank is very fortunate because it receives a lot of support from the community.
“We have a very giving community and some great businesses that do help us out so we’re not in dire need like some other food banks are. Our schools do food drives for us. Our hockey teams do food drives for us.”
Last year the Holiday Train raised about 450 kg of food in Blackfalds.
Edwards said food and money raised this year will help when it comes time to fill Christmas food hampers. So far over 100 people have already signed up this year and the deadline to register is Dec. 7. A total of 83 hampers were given out last Christmas.
For more information about the CP Holiday Train go to www.cpr.ca/holiday-train/canada.