The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will return to Plummer and Thief River Falls on Thursday, Dec. 15. This is its first cross-continent tour in three years, following virtual concerts in the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The train will again raise money, food, and awareness for local food banks in communities along the CP network. Here, the performers will be folk rocker Alan Doyle and country musician Kelly Prescott.
The Holiday Train is expected to arrive at 6 p.m. at the main railway crossing on Central Avenue in Plummer. However, the event kicks off at 4 p.m. with a variety of activities. Tri Rivers Museum will open at that time with tours. Popcorn and hot chocolate will be available.
From 4 to 5:45 p.m., the Bethany Lutheran Church group will serve a light lunch at the Plummer Community Hall. A freewill offering will be accepted.
Santa will arrive at the Plummer Hall at 5 p.m., which is also the time that the elementary choir will perform Christmas carols. Half an hour later, the choir will sing at the museum. Santa will arrive at the museum at 5:45 p.m.
Food Shelf donations will be accepted at Tri Rivers Museum and the Plummer Community Hall for both the Red Lake Falls and Oklee food shelves.
Thief River Falls
The Holiday Train is then slated to arrive at the Thief River Falls City Hall at 7:30 p.m. The Thief River Falls Ministerial Association, area churches, and the Thief River Falls Area Food Shelf, will serve hot chocolate and cookies for the event.
Holiday Train shows are free to attend. CP asks attendees to bring a cash or non-perishable food donation if they’re able. Local food shelves will set up collection stations at each event, with all donations made staying with the local food bank to help people in need in the community. Because local food shelves buy food at a discount, cash donations can go further than food donations to help those in need.
Since the Holiday Train program launched in 1999, it’s raised more than $21 million and collected 5 million pounds of food for community food banks across North America.
About the performers
Alan Doyle is a singer-songwriter who rose to fame as the frontman for the acclaimed Newfoundland folk-rock band Great Big Sea, which fused traditional Celtic fare and sea shanties He launched a solo career in 2012. His songs range from catchy and danceable, with earnest lyrics, like the infectious “Come Out With Me,” to storytelling ballads, like “Back Home On The Island,” a moving number about the decline of the family fishing industry in his native Newfoundland. He will play Christmas songs as well as some original Great Big Sea hits and traditional songs.
Kelly Prescott, born in Ottawa, is a third-generation singer-songwriter who spent her childhood steeped in traditional country music and made her Grand Ole Opry debut with her family in 2018. She has a sweet, soulful voice and lyrics that can be both heartfelt and cheeky, as with her most recent release, “Convertible.”