While the CP Holiday Train won't be coming through Okotoks or near High River this year it will be stopping close by.

The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train will be stopping in Gleichen again for the third time, as it will return to the rails this season on its first cross-continent tour in three years.

The first stop in Gleichen in 2018 saw more than 2000 people celebrate the day. and this year with the weather making a shift in the right direction the organizers are ready for another big turnout! 

The train visited the community in 2018 and 2019 but didn't return for 2020 and 2021 due to covid. With the train returning again, the Gleichen and District Community Association is preparing to put on a Christmas Market to celebrate the occasion.

Secretary for Gleichen and District Community Association Margaret Moore says in the past they have had visitors from all over Wheatland County and Calgary, as it's a great event to have some festive fun and see the train! 

The evening's activities kick off at 5:00 pm and are completely free; there will be a market featuring many local vendors as well as food trucks on site from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and horse rides to drive people around the community, and of course, the train will make its stop around 8:35 pm with live music from Aysanabee and Tenille Townes, as one of the train cars gets converted into a stage.

The Holiday Train event will also be shared with Siksika Nation, which Moore is very excited for.

"This is such a wonderful opportunity, especially because we share it with Siksika because they are our neighbors. It's a wonderful opportunity for us to share culturally in some ways and also to share friendship. The CP Holiday Train is such a big deal, for it to stop in a small village like ours beside a large nation like Siksika, it's very special."

The CP Holiday Train raises awareness of nutritious food as a basic necessity. The CP Holiday Train program is a way to help fight against hunger by growing awareness of this issue.

Food donations are encouraged and if you plan on attending the event you're asked to support the local food bank heading into the holidays season. 

The train will be in Gleichen on December 7, and the festivities will go from 5:00-9:30 PM. The events will be in the community centre at 3rd Avenue and Crowfoot Street, which is fortunately right by where the train will stop.