Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Holidays!

The Holiday Train came to town!

Since 1999 the annual CP Holiday Train is traveling through Canada and parts of the US during the holiday time to raise awareness and money for local foodbanks.

This year, for the first time, I caught it.

Not really knowing what to expect I waited anxiously, standing on the Fort Steele bridge, for the train to come through.
And stood there, and stood there.....and stood there. In the distance I saw colorful lights reflecting in the low clouds...but still no train. Another holiday train hunter arrived, Randy form Delaware, he had followed the train since Lethbridge and was positive the train was to arrive soon. Well, it was another 20 min, by that time I had taken out my camera battery to avoid it draining completely from the cold and my fingers were ice cold.
But then the train finally made it

and it was well worth the wait!

My location had not been optimal, but as soon as the train had passed through Fort Steele, I hopped back in the car, loving the seat warmers once again, and headed for Cranbrook, where the train was to stop for a while.

Finding a parking spot in Cranbrook was quite the challenge, as lot's and lot's of people, despite the late hour, came to watch the train and Alan Doyle performing.

Here I had time to look at the train a bit closer and was amazed how lovingly and detail oriented the train cars were decorated.

"A typical Holiday Train event goes something like this: the train arrives and pulls to a safe stop in front of the crowd. The stage door lowers and the band opens with its first song. After that, a brief presentation takes place with local food bank officials and other dignitaries. Once complete, the band resumes performing a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs.  The whole event lasts about 30 minutes. Once the band plays its farewell song, the stage door closes, and the train heads off to the next stop." (1)

"As part of Canada 150, CP and the Canada 150 Federal Secretariat partnered to promote the Holiday Train and the conclusion of the sesquicentennial celebrations."   (2) This car lit up in different sections, so I took a long exposure to show it in it's whole glory.

By now the​ "19th annual Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train has completed another successful tour across North America, raising more than just spirits this holiday season. While final numbers are still being calculated, more than C$1.5 million and 300,000 pounds of food have been raised for local food banks and food shelves. 
The Holiday Train has now raised more than $14.5 million and 4.3 million pounds of food since its inaugural journey back in 1999."
This was a short but sweet holiday event and I will make sure to look out for the 2018 schedule and plan my shooting locations a bit better.

While searching for a parking spot I noticed that Cranbrook downtown was decked out for the holidays too, with some unique lights!

An ice climber on the clock tower

the Christmas tree at the end of Baker Street

some intense decoration at "Candy Cane Lane"

and my favorite, the ski jumper at the Rotary Park

With this I wish all of you  

Merry Christmas, 
Happy Holidays 
and a wonderful 2018!

(2) CP News 

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