CP Rail’s Holiday Train is set to return to Ponoka Tuesday, Dec. 8 for its second year in a row.
Usually the train visits communities every other year but a change in schedule, which added more communities to the list, is bringing the train to Ponoka again, says Salem Woodrow, holiday train spokesperson with CP Rail. “We do try to reach as many communities as we possibly can.”
The popular train visit will have entertainment from Kelly Prescott and Devin Cuddy — son of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy — and a chance for residents to make food or cash donations to the Ponoka Food Bank. Woodrow said the main goal of the holiday train is to raise money, awareness and the need for food banks during the winter season.
One of the goals this year is to bring healthy donations to the food bank. Woodrow recommends canned meats, fruits and vegetables for donation. One way people can raise awareness is through social media sites using the hashtag: #HealthyDonations. This is a continuation of last year’s challenge, she added.
The schedule change was initially made to provide planners a way to reach out to more communities. Rather than travel northbound to Wetaskiwin, the train will be southbound from Edmonton to Calgary, making a stop in Ponoka at approximately 5:30 p.m. with entertainment to start at 5:45 p.m.
“We’re reaching six new communities this year by changing the schedule,” said Woodrow.
She added the times are fairly accurate for the event as the train is on a tight schedule to visit other communities. Last year $4,000 was donated to the Ponoka Food Bank.