It’s a long running tradition: the CP Rail holiday train.
For nearly two decades the train has been making its way across the country stopping in many communities and giving Canadians a night of festive cheer.
Every time it passed through the Shuswap, one community was feeling left out but this year, that all changed.
“The train has been going through Canoe for 19 years and we used to all just line up along the street and not do anything,” local resident Paul Ross said.
For the past few years, Ross would put up signs encouraging the holiday train to stop in Canoe, northeast of Salmon Arm, and put on a Christmas show like it does in other communities across Canada.
The efforts finally paid off.
On Thursday night, some 4,000 people gathered to welcome the brightly lit holiday train.
There was also a performance by Canadian musician Alan Doyle and ‘The Beautiful Band’.
The evening also included an appearance by Santa Clause.
The holiday train stops serve as fundraisers for local food banks.
Since the CP Holiday Train program began 19 years ago, $1.3 million has been raised along with four million pounds of food.