The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train is returning to the rails this season on its first cross-continent tour in three years, and will make stops in Milton and Hamilton on Nov. 29.
The program features two trains, one heading across Canada and another through parts of the US, that will once again raise money, food and awareness for local food banks in communities along the CP network.
"The Holiday Train is all about families and communities coming together to celebrate the season and help those in need," said Keith Creel, CP's president and chief executive officer. "We are excited to be back out on the rails and in our communities, taking these two beautiful trains across our network and sharing the joy that comes with gathering in the spirit of giving."
The tour will feature 168 live shows across Canada and the US, including at the two local stops. The Canadian train tour will launch on on Nov. 24 in Lac-Megantic and the final show will be in Port Coquitlam, B.C., on Dec. 18.
The train is scheduled to arrive at Glen Eden Ski and Snowboard Centre, 5234 Kelso Rd., at 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 29 with performances by Lindsay Ell and Texas Hill from 5 to 5:30 p.m. It will arrive in Hamilton at 7:45 p.m., at the railway tracks across from Gage Park (742 Lawrence Rd.). The festivities run from 8 to 8:30 p.m., with performances by Ell and Jo Jo Mason. Hamilton Food Share will also be on hand to collect food and cash donations.
A full schedule is available at cpr.ca/holidaytrain (Milton and surrounding area is part of the US train tour).
This year's performers at other stops will include Alan Doyle, Tenille Townes and Mackenzie Porter.
Holiday Train shows are free to attend, but CP asks attendees to bring a cash or non-perishable food donation if they're able.
Local food banks 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 banks 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.