Three hundred and sixty-four days a year, this stretch of West Point Douglas Road is a place most people rush past on their way to somewhere else.
That won't be the case Monday, Dec. 10, however, when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolls into Cottage Grove. The train is expected to arrive at 5:15 p.m. along West Point Douglas Road just south of the 80th Street bridge, near the Youth Service Bureau building. Once the train stops, a boxcar door will drop open to reveal an elevated stage with live entertainment by Canadian hard rockers the Trews and blues guitarist Willy Porter.
Randy Bachman, who co-chairs the event with Chelsea Swaggert, said they hope to raise $90,000 this year for the Friends in Need Food Shelf.
In prior years, the Holiday Train and its related events have raised over $1 million for the St. Paul Park nonprofit.
This year's event will feature a tractor-drawn wagon shuttle, courtesy of Zywiec's Landscape and Garden Center. Bachman said they hope to spare folks the long walk from the lot to the Holiday Train site.
"That's our biggest concern we hear from people, that it's a long walk and with small kids, it makes it a little bit difficult," he said.
Victuals will be available for purchase from food trucks and the Lions Club hot dog and brats stand.
New this year is the Festival of Wreaths, a display featuring wreaths purchased for $125 each and custom-decorated by individuals, families or businesses. The Festival of Wreaths is presented by the Cottage Grove Arts Commission. Santa will be there too, of course.
Folks are encouraged to arrive prior to sunset.
Parking is available at the following locations:
• Metro Transit Park & Ride Lot on West Point Douglas Road
• All Saints Lutheran Church: 8100 Belden Blvd, Cottage Grove
• The Cottage Grove Armory: 8180 Belden Blvd, Cottage Grove
• Limited handicap parking can be found in the Youth Service Bureau Lot
At 3 p.m. Cottage Grove police will close a portion of West Point Douglas Road between the park and ride and the Belden railroad crossing.