PITTSBURG — All aboard! Kansas City Southern Railroad’s Holiday Express will chug into Pittsburg on Friday as part of its annual Christmas tour.
Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, families can make their way to the intersection of Elm and Monroe Streets to explore the festively-lit Holiday Express. The engine will be pulling a gingerbread boxcar, the elves’ workshop, a reindeer stable, a little red caboose, and Rudy, a flatcar with the most precious Christmas cargo of all: Santa’s reindeer and his sleigh. Visitors should be sure to come with their Christmas lists in mind — Santa Claus will be taking a day off of his busy schedule to meet with them in the little red caboose.
The event is free and open to kids and adults alike.
The Holiday Express has been a forerunner of Christmas cheer for 18 years, touring over fifty southern and midwestern towns from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Pittsburg is one of 23 stops on this year’s journey which started in Shreveport, LA and will end in a four-day stay at Kansas City’s Union Station.
More than 50 towns request stops every year, but time constraints require the Holiday Express to limit its stops between 20 and 30 communities. While most towns will get a visit every two or three years, Pittsburg’s location makes it an annual destination — Pittsburg is where the KCS rail lines converge.
Earlier this year, KCS raised over $175,000 to purchase gift cards for children in need in towns along the train’s path. These gift cards will be donated to Salvation Army outposts at each scheduled stop for the purchase of mittens, hats, coats and other necessities for children in the community.
KCS began raising money in 2000 when they realized the Holiday Express was the only Christmas experience some kids would have. KCS has distributed over $2 million on the Holiday Express tour.