DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Christmas came early in Dubuque tonight- both for people visiting the train tracks in the north end, and for one local food pantry.
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train arrived in Dubuque Tuesday night, raising money and taking food donations for the Dubuque Food Pantry. (Aaron Scheinblum, KCRG)
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train came through as hundreds looked on to the brightly-lit train.
The event serves as a spectacle for people who live in and visited the city, but it was much more than a family-friendly show. To see did not require a price of admission, but people were asked to bring a food donation instead of paying to get in.
The money and food raised will benefit the Dubuque Food Pantry. Theresa Caldwell, the Manager of the Dubuque Food Pantry, said even though the performance only lasts about 45 minutes, the event makes a huge difference for the food pantry and their ability to help people in the area.
"The community just comes out and supports us really well," Caldwell said. "We get donations, we get cash donations, and the Canadian Pacific gives us a check each time they come through. It's every other year that we get the train coming through in Dubuque."
Caldwell said they always try to stay prepared if and when the train stops in Dubuque- and even though the train came on a weekday night, she was still amazed to see the turnout from the community. Caldwell said it's amazing, but understandable considering the universal benefit the event has.
"I'm surprised to see as many children as I do," Caldwell said. "I hope we don't have cranky kids in the community tomorrow morning. They enjoy it, the adults enjoy it... we enjoy it when they come through."
Caldwell said the food pantry raises thousands of dollars every time the train comes to Dubuque, which she says goes a long way once the new year starts.
The Holiday Train will make four more stops in Iowa on Wednesday.
Guttenberg: Arrives 12:45 p.m., event from 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Marquette: Arrives 2:45 p.m., event from 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Lansing: Arrives 4:50 p.m., event from 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
New Albin: Arrives 6:15 p.m., event from 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.