Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
After years of trying, Canadian Pacific Rail's famous Holiday Train made a stop in Kimball. This was the tenth year of the Holiday Train. In years past we in Kimball only got a few seconds of it whooshing through town. Naturally, the weather didn't cooperate this year. But more than 200 people showed up in sub-zero temperatures to wait for the train, donate to the local food shelf, and enjoy a concert. It was nearly 9 p.m. when the train pulled into town. The doors of one of the railcars opened and from the smoky mist inside emerged Santa, doing a bit of a rap. Then Santa went out into the freezing crowd. CP Rail presented a check for $1,000 to Kimball mayor Tammy Konz and food shelf representative Jennifer Schiefelbein. Then four musicians took the stage and played six songs, ending with "Silent Night." It was too cold to bring out the horses for the horse-drawn wagon rides that were scheduled. And lots of hot chocolate and coffee were served in the park shelter before the concert. It was too cold for skating or sledding that was planned. But the medallion hunt did go on (and the medallion was found). Lots of food was donated to the Kimball Area Food Shelf, as was about $150 in cash, in addition to CP Rail's donation. People huddled together for warmth and wind-break-friends, neighbors and strangers alike. When it's minus 7 and 30-m.p.h. winds are howling, there are no strangers anymore. The train came and went within less than an hour's time. Toes and fingers and faces have thawed out. But the feeling of community and accomplishment will linger for some time. And some are already looking forward to next year's Holiday Train.