The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is making its annual trek across Minnesota, bringing holiday cheer and helping local food banks.
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is decked out with hundreds of thousands of colorful, flashing LED lights and decorations. It features a modified boxcar that serves as a traveling stage for musical performances.
This special train began running in 1999 to raise awareness and donations for community food banks across North America. And for the past 25 years, the Holiday Train has become a beloved way for families across Canada and the northern U.S. to celebrate the season.
People of all ages gather alongside the railroad tracks for a chance to see this one-of-a-kind train all lit up at night. Parents bring their kids or grandparents to share the excitement.
The concerts and dazzling light displays create memorable holiday magic. It’s a tradition families look forward to each year and then tell stories about for years to come.
When and Where You Can See the Train
Kicking off on December 6, the train will stop in Rochester, Owatonna, Waseca and Janesville. On December 7 it pulls into Austin. Then it heads to Winona, Wabasha and Hastings on December 9, followed by stops in Cottage Grove and St. Paul on December 10.
The weekend brings stops in the Twin Cities metro area, including Golden Valley, St. Louis Park and Minneapolis. After that, the holiday train heads northwest, stopping in Loretto, Buffalo, Annandale and other towns. Its last Minnesota stop is in Elbow Lake on December 15.
For a full list of stops, including times, check out: 2023-US-Holiday-Train-Schedule.pdf (cpkcr.com)
Holiday Music and Fun
At each stop, artists like MacKenzie Porter, Breland, Dallas Smith and Tenille Townes will perform free concerts right from a specially outfitted stage car. Festivities typically last 30 to 45 minutes.
While the concerts are free, attendees are encouraged to donate money or non-perishable food items to benefit local food shelves.
Holiday Train By the Numbers
Since starting in 1999, the train has raised over $22 million and collected 5 million pounds of food across North America.
So grab the kids or friends and check out the magical Holiday Train spectacle as it rolls through Minnesota. Just be sure to bundle up – it may be cold outside, but the music and lights will warm your holiday spirit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Holiday Train event like?
A 30-45 minute free concert with a brightly decorated train providing the stage! Festivities include live music, food drive collections, and presentations from local food banks.
Are Holiday Train concerts really free?
Yes! Attendees are asked to donate to food banks if possible.
So if you’re looking to start a new family holiday custom or enhance an existing one, make plans to catch the Holiday Train during its annual run through Minnesota. Make donations and spirits bright while creating special memories together.