Hundreds of Creekers and area residents gave a warm welcome to the CP Holiday Train when it made a stop in town Sunday. And the performers didn’t run out of stream, putting on an excellent performance despite being on the tracks since November.
Unlike last year’s late arrival in the frigid cold, this year’s CP Holiday Train greeted spectators under sunny skies and warmer temperatures.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the local food banks. The Maple Salvation Army in town noted $1,000 in donations that day alone, not to mention a $5,500 cheque CP Rail handed in.
Since 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than $13 million and 4 million pounds of food for North American food banks. Anything raised in a community stays in that community. In addition, CP makes donations at each stop.
Creekers were treated with music from Dallas Smith, Kelly Prescott and Terri Clark. Clark, who got her musical start in Medicine Hat, was the new addition to the performers. After hearing stories about the experience being on the Holiday Train from Dallas Smith, she knew it was something she had to be part of.
“Dallas and I share the same agent, and I heard that he was on the train last year and had a great time,” Clark said. “Dallas and I have become really tight friends over the last year, and he’s like one of my best guy friends on the planet at this point, he told me how amazing the experience was being on the train and seeing all these kids and different places but also how fulfilling it was for him. So for me it has been a great experience for my heart and soul and seeing people give back, it’s wonderful, I’m so glad I did it.”
Being on the train since November and stopping in 171 communities across the country leaves little time for Christmas shopping for the performers.
“I have to do it all online,” Dallas Smith said. Smith was back on the train this year, and it doesn’t take much convincing to get him to do it.
“When they asked me back again it was an easy ‘yes,'” Smith said.”I’ve yet to see anything that matches up to be as good as this. To see first hand the effects it has on the community is great. If they ask me to come back again next year, it’s another easy ‘yes.'”
It was the last day of performances for the artists on board the train. The day began in Swift Current and ended in Brooks, Alta.