One Train, Dozens of Cities, Hundreds of Lights: Giving Back on the Road

"The Canadian Pacific Holiday train has become a tradition here in Detroit Lakes and Becker County"

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Opening presents, friends and family gathering around the dinner table, and twinkling lights…all things that remind us of the season of giving.

KVRR’s Jessie Cohen tells us how a moving train is becoming part of a holiday tradition in Detroit Lakes.

Christmas has come early for the people of Detroit Lakes.

And for just 30 minutes they are stepping out of Minnesota and into a moving North Pole performance.

“You’ll feel the energy,” said Brad Carlson, the Executive Director of the Becker County Food Pantry.

The Canadian Pacific Holiday train has become a tradition here in Detroit Lakes and Becker County.

It’s the one time of year where hundreds are guaranteed to come together in this small town.

“Some of these people have here year after year after year and for some it’s their first time,” Carlson said.

To be a part of something bigger than themselves.

“The most important thing is raising money, food and awareness for hunger related issues,” said Justyna Babski, the Manager of Marketing and Communications with Canadian Pacific.

With stops in over 150 communities from Montreal to Weyburn Canada, the goal is for neighbors to come together to help the less fortunate.

“Right now one out of every 11 families in Becker County is on our client list,” Carlson said.

With one small donation, one big show…

“Music brings everybody together even if you don’t know the band,” Babski said.

…and one special town…

“It’s a great community feeling at every single stop,” Babski said.

…change is being made in the city of Detroit Lakes.

“Because some homeless people don’t have any food or anywhere live and they need somewhere to live,” said one boy from Detroit Lakes.

And smiles are not far behind.

“They’re thankful that they can give, and the others are thankful they can receive,” Carlson said.

The holiday spirit is very much alive for every performance, but when the sun goes down, some cities get a special treat.

“Even whenever I see the train and the thousands upon thousands of lights, that we have, it’s crazy it’s so great like during the night people go wild for it,” Banyski said.

For now the train will continue on its journey but it will be back next year, for another season of giving.

Canadian Pacific donates 45–hundred dollars to each local food pantry on its tour.

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