Whistle-stop tour for Holiday Train includes Detroit Lakes and Mahnomen on Dec.15

In Detroit Lakes, the train will arrive for a half-hour concert at 2:30 p.m. at its regular location, the Holmes Street Railroad Crossing down from the Detroit Lakes Community Center.

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The Canadian-Pacific Holiday Train is coming to Detroit lakes and Mahnomen on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.
Contributed Photo / Kristopher Grunert
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DETROIT LAKES — After missing the last two years because of the pandemic, the Canadian-Pacific Holiday Train is back, baby!

The 14-car lighted train will roll into Detroit Lakes and Mahnomen on Thursday, Dec. 15.

Admission is as simple as bringing a nonperishable food item or cash donation for the local food pantry.

In Detroit Lakes, the train will arrive for a half-hour concert at 2:30 p.m. at its regular location, the Holmes Street Railroad Crossing down from the Detroit Lakes Community Center.

In Mahnomen, the train will arrive at 4:20 p.m. and park west of Highway 59 and south of East Washington Avenue.


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Reflections from the Holiday Train, coming to Detroit Lakes on Dec. 15.
Contributed / Neil Zeller

At both locations, entertainment will be provided by singer, songwriter, and actor Alan Doyle and singer-songwriter Kelly Prescott.

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, followed by a brief presentation with the local food bank officials and other dignitaries on stage.

Once the presentation is done, the band resumes the show, singing a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs, and popular original songs. After the final song the boxcar door closes and the train is on its way to the next stop.

Make sure that you keep a safe distance from the train at all times so it can safely continue its journey.

It’s the holiday train’s 24th year and its first cross-continent tour in three years, following virtual concerts in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

This year’s tour launched on Nov. 23 in Maine. The holiday train will make its way west and roll into Minnesota with stops scheduled from December 11-16.

Since 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than $21 million and 5 million pounds of food for North American food banks. All donations raised at a Holiday Train stop remain in that community.

“I’m grateful to the Canadian-Pacific team members who adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver two exceptional virtual Holiday Train shows and to all those who continued to donate while we kept community members safe,” Keith Creel, CP’s president and chief executive officer, said on the railway’s Facebook page.


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This spirited Holiday Train performance occurred in 2015.

“The Holiday Train is all about families and communities coming together to celebrate the season and help those in need. We are excited to be back out on the rails and in our communities, taking these two beautiful trains across our network and sharing the joy that comes with gathering in the spirit of giving.”

The Becker County Food Pantry and the Helping Hands Food Shelf in Mahnomen are among the 65 food pantries in the United States supported this year by the Holiday Train, which always provides a nice bump in donations.

Demand is up, and local food pantries can use all the help they can get. That’s why it’s good news that the Becker County Food Pantry received over $4,500 from 42 donors on Give to the Max Day.

And there will be another chance to help the local food pantry, starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, when area National Guard troops will march down Washington Avenue in Detroit Lakes, collecting non-perishable food items.

Operation Hunger Resolve will start at Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Detroit Lakes and follow Washington Avenue south, ending at the Becker County Food Pantry — which is located near the Minnesota Flyers gymnastics building at the Becker County Fairgrounds.

The public is invited to line Washington Avenue and hand nonperishable groceries to the soldiers as they march past.

The Detroit Lakes Armory will have a gift-wrapped drop box in the entryway for anyone who would like to drop off items before Dec. 3.

Holiday Train performers

Born in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alan Doyle is a singer, songwriter, and actor who rose to fame as the enigmatic frontman for acclaimed Newfoundland folk-rock band Great Big Sea, according to the Holiday Train Facebook page.


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Alan Doyle
Contributed Photo

During their commercial peak from the late '90s to the mid-2000s, the band's energetic fusion of traditional Celtic fare and sea shanties earned them international success far beyond the shores of their island home.

Doyle launched a solo career in 2012 and released a trio of well-received albums. In addition to his musical work, he has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including the movies Robin Hood (2010) and Winter’s Tale (2014) both starring Russell Crowe.

Born in Ottawa, Kelly Prescott comes by her music in the most honest way possible as a third-generation singer/songwriter on both sides of her family, according to the Holiday Train Facebook page.

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Kelly Prescott

Growing up between a tour bus and a world-class recording studio, her childhood was steeped in traditional country music. Kelly and her family made their Grand Ole Opry debut as guests of Terri Clark in 2018. She has toured all over North America with such acts as Alan Doyle, Kyle Cook (Matchbox 20), Terri Clark, Dallas Smith, Jim Cuddy, Colin James, Dean Brody and her former band, The Claytones.

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