The CPKC Holiday Train, formerly known as the CP Holiday Train, is returning to Innisfail, Olds and Didsbury for its 25th season of visiting communities across the CPKS network and helping those in need.
The rail company’s quarter-century holiday train initiative has raised more than $22.5 million and more than 5.1 million pounds of food since 1999 for community food banks across North America to help people struggling with food insecurity.
The 2023 Canadian holiday train schedule begins the week of Nov. 21 to 25, and ends the week of Dec. 17 to 19.
“With your help we can continue to raise food, money and awareness for people facing hunger issues across North America,” said Mark Piciacchia, CPKC’s manager of Indigenous relations and government affairs in a Oct. 12 letter to Town of Innisfail Mayor Jean Barclay.
The holiday train will come through the local region on Friday, Dec. 8, with stops in Innisfail, Olds and Didsbury.
The first will be in Innisfail at the 50th Street railway crossing at 12:45 p.m. The festivities, which includes a performance from Canadian alternative rock group Anyway Gang from a brightly coloured train stage, will run from 12:55 to 1:25 p.m.
The CPKC Holiday Train will then go to Olds and is scheduled to arrive at the 50th Street level railway crossing at 2:20 p.m. with a festive and entertaining event from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
It will then head to Didsbury and arrive at the CPKC railway tracks at 20th Street and 18th Avenue at around 3:30 p.m. with another event from 3:45 to 4:15 p.m.
The CPKC Holiday Train will wrap up its day on Dec. 8 with a visit to Airdrie, arriving at Nose Creek Park on Main Street at 5:15 p.m. and having its event from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m.
All regional stops will have Anyway Gang providing entertainment, while CPKC will make a donation to each food bank or helping organization.
Attendees at each stop will also be encouraged to donate.