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Hunger-fighting, music-playing Holiday Train to visit Pingree

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

PINGREE GROVE — The rolling holiday music show called the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will stop in Pingree Grove at 9:45 a.m. Saturday with twin goals of providing some Christmastime entertainment and collecting nonperishable food and cash for local food pantries.

Traveling all over the Canadian Pacific Railway system in the United States and Canada, the train also stopped in Pingree Grove two years ago. Despite 10-degree weather, it drew some 200 people there and collected 14,700 pounds of food for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which supplies 55 food pantries and charity groups in Kane County.

The 14-car train is covered with hundreds of thousands of colorful holiday lights. It includes one car that opens at the side to provide a platform for singers, a band and Santa Claus.

Marjorie Morton, a village employee who is coordinating the visit, said the train will park across the Reinking Road crossing for about an hour while the performers entertain and local volunteers collect the food bank donations.

“Our police chief expects even more people than last year because it’s coming on a Saturday,” Morton said. “Last time, it was a Friday morning.”

She said Cambridge Lakes Charter School has been collecting donations, and the village’s trash hauler, Flood Brothers, already has collected 10,600 pounds of slightly-out-of-date food from a grocery distribution business it also operates.

The headlining performer will be smoky-voiced Ottawa singer Kelly Prescott. The train also will roll through Bartlett, Elgin, Hampshire and Genoa, but will not stop in those towns. It also will stop for concerts in Byron at 1 p.m. Saturday, Savanna at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and Gurnee at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8.

This area became eligible for the visits when the Canadian Pacific bought the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railway line through the Elgin-Pingree-Hampshire-Genoa corridor in October 2008.

For more information on the Holiday Train, visit

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