Alberta Prairie Railway has developed a new way to say thanks to the Stettler community instead of the annual ‘The Night Before, The Night Before Train ride’.
They also want to make sure that each child in the area knows how much the railway appreciates them, their parents, caregivers and family.
Bob Willis, manager of Alberta Prairie Railway, said that the train ride just isn’t possible this year with the heightened COVID-19 restrictions.
“So we have come up with this alternative,” he said.
On Dec. 23rd, starting at 10 a.m. and running through to 4 p.m., Alberta Prairie Railway is inviting families to do a ‘drive-by and pick-up’ of a Christmas gift bag for each child 12 years of age and under.
This event will take place in the parking lot at Alberta Prairie’s railway station located at 4611 – 47th Ave. in Stettler.
Everyone must remain in their vehicle during their drive-by.
“We just couldn’t let it go – we had to do something,” he said, adding that for some youngsters, the train ride which had been planned for Dec. 23rd was perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the Christmas season. It has also been a popular holiday tradition, having been offered to locals and guests from around Alberta for the last 25-plus years.
Also, the COVID-19 restrictions had forced the cancellation of all planned passenger train excursions throughout the year including The Polar Express during November and December.
“We’ve had the approach, right from the get-go, that first of all we have to protect our clients, our staff and our community. If we can’t do any one of those three things, we aren’t going to do it. There’s no debate. We are not going to put our clients, staff or the community at risk,” he said.
“So this is the best that we can do for the holiday season, and it’s really important us.”
Check out www.absteamtrain.com for more information or call 403-742-2811. You can also call 1-800-282-3994.