Get there early for a good spot as the CP Holiday Train rolls into Ponoka for another year.
The train has made this a regular stop on its journey across the country the last several years and this time around it is due to arrive at 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 with the 30 minute show slated to start at 5:15 p.m.
As always, the public is encouraged to bring donations for the Ponoka Food Bank.
The big asks for this year are — Peanut butter, jam, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and toilet paper.
In addition, the town is also competing against Wetaskiwin for bragging rights on who can collect the most donated food.
Along with dropping off donations when the train pays a visit, donations will be accepted at the town office every weekday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Dec. 6. And don’t forget, take a photo of yourself while making the donation and post it on various social media platforms with the #PonokaFoodBank or # CPHolidayTrain hashtags.
The Ponoka Lions Club will again be collecting the food donations while the Kinsmen Club of Ponoka will be operating their hot chocolate stand.
The entertainment on this leg of the trip will be courtesy of Windsor, Ont.’s Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo.
The 24-year-old Helman is at the beginning of his career, starting out just five years ago, and completed his own Canadian tour earlier this year. His music has been described as alternative pop and has already been nominated for four Juno awards.
Merlo, 25, is a well-known Canadian country artist from Maple Ridge, B.C. who burst onto the music scene in 2013 with her first album Free Soul and two years later won the “Rising Star” award from the Canadian Country Music Association.
Since then, she has won the CCMA female vocalist of the year (2016) and released several singles, including the cross country hit Honey Jack. She’s also toured with the likes of Dean Brody and Paul Brandt.
Since launching the Holiday train 20 years ago, more than $15.8 million dollars has been raised and abour 4.5 million pounds of food has been collected across North America.