By Josh Moniz
NEW ULM - A group of over 1,000 people from all over the region gathered at the New Ulm train tracks on 3rd North Street on Wednesday to witness the display of lights and sounds provided by the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stopped in New Ulm on Wednesday as part of its U.S. tour to promote food shelves. Free lights displays on the train and a free music concert was provide in exchange for a food or cash donation to the New Ulm Area Emergency Food Shelf. The New Ulm food shelf raised $1,122 in cash and 2,702 pounds of food at the event.
The train is one of two train tours organized by Canadian Pacific (CP) to promote small food shelves at each of the tour's stops. The train that stopped in New Ulm is currently touring the U.S. while the other is touring Canada.
Each of the trains provide a holiday light display on the side of the train consisting of 18,000 feet of LED lights. At each of the stops, the trains offer a musical performance by a band traveling with the tour.
Each of the stops are free to the public, but CP requests that participants bring donations of non-perishable food items or cash to give to a local food shelf. The New Ulm stop had the items and cash delivered to New Ulm Area Emergency Food Shelf. CP made a $1,000 donation of its own during the stop.
So far this year, the tour has raised $5.6 million in cash and 2.6 million pounds of food for various food shelves.
CP tour spokesperson Breanne Feigel said the New Ulm stop had one of the biggest crowds they have seen in several days. She said the warm weather was a windfall because it allowed people to attend.
"It's a great experience that helps many people," said Feigel.
CP has been hosting the tours for the last 13 years, but the tours have only started traveling through Minnesota in 2009 when CP purchased several railroad tracks.
The total hauls for the New Ulm food shelf was $1,122 in cash and 2,702 pounds of food.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org