A massive crowd showed up for this year’s CP Holiday Train performance Sunday night, and they were treated to a lively show by Matt Dusk, Melanie Doane and even a quick visit from Santa Claus.
While the train was running about a half an hour late, the weather was milder than in previous years. When the train rolled in covered in animated Christmas lights, the side of a one rail car dropped and the show began instantly.
That show includes a large donation to the local food bank every year. The CP Holiday Train is a nationwide fundraiser and awareness campaign for community food banks.
In Agassiz and Harrison, 2,000 people access the food bank, through Community Services.
At Christmas, families and individuals can apply for a Christmas hamper. Grace Admiraal from Community Services said the need is up this year. Last year, 135 hampers were received. This year, about 150 hampers will be given out, reaching about 400 people.
CPR handed over a cheque in the amount of $7,000 for the food bank aboard the Holiday Train, with Admiraal and Mayor John Van Laerhoven in attendance.
Admiraal thanked everyone involved with train, the food drive and the evening’s set up. In addition to the CPR donation, food and cash were being collected by volunteers along Pioneer Ave.
The Holiday Train travels across the United States and Canada. Since the program’s inception in 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than $7.4 million and more than three million pounds of food across both countries. Performers this year included Dusk and Doane, as well as Sarah McLachlan, Tom Cochrane, Sheryl Crow and Natalie McMaster.