photos here in the gallery               PRPeak Video here  
Many thanks to Hans Maurer, the other dedicated Forestry Heritage members, and volunteers from 10 other non-profits who worked many hours to create this event, along with great media coverage by PRLivingPRPeak, and 95.7 coast radio

P1010046As an extension to our summer afternoon “Train Rides Sunday” program, the Forestry Heritage Society volunteers decided to follow the lead of many other miniature ride-on train clubs with a Christmas-theme event held in the dark. Co-ordinator Hans Maurer selected two evenings, December 11 and 12; and set the times at 5 to 8 pm.

We wanted this event to be entirely a charity-benefit, so we partnered with the Salvation Army; and set the all-evening ride fee as non-perishable food items or unwrapped toys. A Salvation Army kettle was also on hand. 

xmas train12Held in the dark, the Christmas lights guiding the route provided a very different experience compared to the regular afternoon summer program. Many people parked on-site, but others walked from McLeod Road.  Floodlights were up to aid parking, all run by generators donated by local rental outlets and volunteers.

 track litThe train route was outlined with Christmas lights, all run by generators.

bonfireChristmas decorations were everywhere, and a huge Bonfire was provided by Malaspina Volunteer fire Department to complete a unique festive setting.

 xmas train4In the Quonset hut loaned to us by the Agricultural Association, families enjoyed a Kiwanis food concession for drinks , popcorn and corn dogs;

xmas train5xmas train6axe carving by Ron Hunter;

xmas train7a popular Garden scale railroad set up with a Christmas theme;

xmas train2live music provided by Dave and Louise Williams and Shaun Coburn;

xmas train3craft tables by the Rifle Club and Agricultural association; sweets for sale by the Girl Guides; and a spin-to-win game by Dry Grad and Save-on-foods.  Chairs, tables and setup of the Quonset were assisted by the Farmers Market manager. 

xmas train9The train station was completely covered with tents outlined with Christmas lights. Santa was on hand to greet the riders. Each young person was provided with a glow-stick wristband when boarding and a mandarin orange donated by the three major grocery stores when departing. Over 300 oranges were handed out; the left-over boxes were added to the Salvation Army boxes.

On Friday we were blessed with a perfect fall evening, cold but no rain. (the prayer beads worked).  We ran two trains almost continuously, our regular train and one of Dan Parsons’. We probably rode 1000 train riders; about 300 children, many with their adult families, many taking multiple trips.

            On Saturday we had a stormy, windy & rainy night; but still people showed up; we had 50 or so riders . We ran only one train; by 7 pm we closed shop and no more people showed up.

            The Salvation Army took in $314.50 and 25 banana boxes full with food & toys. Dry Grad collected $100; Rifle Club $60. Kiwanis did so well they ran out of coffee & hot chocolate.

            Hundreds of person hours from the Forestry Heritage Society and 10 other non-profits were donated for this event, as well as generous donations from almost 20 local businesses.

            From all the complimentary feedback received it is clear the community loved the event, and so we look forward to making it happen again next year. We hope with community support to expand and enhance the Christmas Theme.

Santa Train Sponsors:

Powell River Businesses:

A&W; Canadian Tire; Coast FM 95.7; Economy Rentals; Powell River Living; Quality Foods; Quality Parts; Relay Rentals; Rural Septic Systems; Safeway; Save-on-foods; ShawTV; Staples; ThePeak; Valley Bldg Supplies; Vanderkamps

Powell River Non-Profits:

Agriculture Association; Dry Grad; Farmers Market; Forestry Heritage Society - many volunteers, led by co-ordinator Hans Maurer; Guides of Powell River; Kiwanis; Malaspina Fire Department; Musicans (Dave-Louise Williams, Shaun Coburn); Rifle Club; Salvation Army; ... and of course, Santa

…. Our apologies to any names we missed ………

 PR Peak video
Santa Train - the video - click on the video screen for full screen size
The poster we used to advertise: