Mauston residents came out to see the he 19th annual Canadian Pacific Holiday Train on Dec 4. The train is scheduled to stop in 13 cities across Wisconsin. The route included a new stop in Oconomowoc, on Dec. 3.
The 14-car train was decorated with hundreds of thousands of LED lights for viewers to see.
During the stop in Mauston, there were musical performances by Dallas Smith, Terri Clark and Kelly Prescott.
All proceeds from the event went to the Mauston Community Sharing Food Pantry.
“It is our largest fundraiser of the year,” said Mauston Community Sharing Food Pantry Director Kathy Green. “If somebody brings us a dollar... that single dollar makes a difference.”
Food and monetary donations to the food pantry were accepted at the event.
Jeremy Berry, who handles media relations for Canadian Pacific said over the last 19 years “we’ve raised about $13 million dollars and four million pounds of food.”
“We first started in Canada, and then added American stops in our network over time,” Berry said. “It’s a great thing to do. We’re very happy to be able to do it.”
The three week tour is scheduled to make a total of 172 stops this year.
For Kathy Green, the turnout of the event was encouraging.
“I am so happy that it didn’t rain,” Green said “And everybody had a marvelous time, and I think it was one of the warmest nights we’ve ever had in the history of the train.”
Green was especially pleased with a matching donation made by First Weber for the event.
“First Weber will donate up to $3,500,” Green said. “So for every dollar that people gave us, it turns into two. So if somebody threw in a $50 bill in tonight it became $100. We want to try and hit that $3,500 total.”
Last year, the holiday train event raised an estimated $1,800 for the food pantry. “We’re hoping to beat that,” Green said.
“We handed out about 300,000 pounds of food last year,” Green said. Green estimates the holiday train event will help provide about a third of that for the year.
The food pantry received 1,092 pounds of food in donations and $2,700 on the night of the holiday train.