CHICAGO — A bright and festive symbol of the season will roll through the Chicagoland area this weekend.
The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train is on track to make the first of three area stops in Bensenville on Friday, Dec. 2.
This is the Holiday Train’s first cross-continent tour in three years, starting in Montreal on November 22 and ending in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, on Dec. 18.
Fourteen cars make up the 1,000-foot-long train which is decked out in hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED lights.
In addition to spreading holiday cheer, the Holiday Train also aims to raise money, food, and awareness for local food banks.
“The Holiday Train is all about families and communities coming together to celebrate the season and help those in need,” stated Keith Creel, CP’s President and Chief Executive Officer in a news release. “We are excited to be back out on the rails and in our communities … and sharing the joy that comes with gathering in the spirit of giving.”
The 2022 tour will include 168 shows with live music by various artists, including performances in Bensenville.
All of the shows are free, however, attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food donation or cash if they can.
Local food banks will have collection stations set up at each stop so donations made will help people in need in that community.
On Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m., the CP Holiday Train makes its first Chicagoland appearance in Bensenville at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and S. York Street, and attendees will be treated to live performances by country music artists Lindsay Ell and JoJo Mason. Visitors are encouraged to park adjacent to the intersection.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, the CP Holiday Train will roll into Pingree Grove at 9 a.m. with Ell and Mason scheduled to perform live again for attendees. CP’s website encourages visitors to park at the Village Hall at 14N042 Reinking Road.
On Thursday, Dec. 8, the Holiday Train makes its final area stop of the year in Gurnee at Viking Middle School at 4460 Old Grand Avenue at 5:15 p.m. Attendees will see performances by folk-rock artist Alan Doyle and country music artist Kelly Prescott.
Canadian Pacific has two Holiday Trains riding the rails this season with one making stops primarily in Canada and the other in the U.S.
You can track the trains and see the full U.S. and Canadian schedules here.
The Holiday Train program has collected more than five million pounds of food and raised more than $21 million for community food banks across North America since it launched in 1999.