All Aboard the North Pole Express!

Sanata on the North Pole Express - Smiths Falls
Photo credit: Chris Uhlig
Posted on: December 8, 2022

Mr. Grinch certainly tried his best to derail the North Pole Express at the Railroad Museum of Ontario on Saturday – he sent rain, a bitter cold and stormy winds, everything you could imagine to make the experience a miserable one. But the many visitors were undeterred by the Grinch’s doing and flocked in great numbers to the brightly lit museum, which greeted its guests with Christmas music, tasty treats, and many many activities to make everyone happy.

Many visitors drove from the larger surrounding communities like Ottawa and Kingston to see the event. Executive director Becky Allen said, “According to our ticket bookings, more than 90% of our attendees come from more that 50 minutes away and we make sure our guests are well aware of our amazing restaurants and shopping opportunities here in Smiths Falls.”

The big man in red, Santa Claus, arrived in style for his second of three visits to the museum, and presided in the gorgeous 1899 Dining Car. Over a hundred kids got their photo taken with a little help from Santa’s friends at Catwood Photography. Mrs. Claus, a curious polar bear, and the many volunteers meanwhile kept the festivities going inside the station and on the North Pole Express itself. Christmas carols and sweet violin music filled the air, small toy trains ran along a winter model display, and many children enjoyed the face painting. Our polar bear goofed around in a playful mood with everyone young at heart who dared to go near him, Mrs Claus told stories, and the telegraph office was busy relaying countless Christmas wish Santa-grams. The braver people who ventured outside went on a tractor-driven hay wagon excursion and of course hopped on the train for a ride to the North Pole (OK, it was just the train yard, but almost as good as the Pole). And the truly lucky ones even got to see a rainbow while the train slowly rumbled over the rails.

A number of vendors offered their goods at a small artisan market, among them Jabreezy’s Donuts, Mighty Valley Coffee, CoverMe Cushion Covers, Polka Dot Candy, Jenn Hanratty, and others.

Said event organizer Becky Allen, “We received fantastic support from our sponsors , Andress’ Independent grocer as well as Canadian Tire who helped us turn our 1912 station into a Christmas wonderland.” Other sponsors for this year’s activities included Wills Transfer Limited, ontrac Employment Resource Services, and Smiths Falls Building Supplies.

Allen added, “the 2022 North Pole Express sold out for the three-day event weeks before the first date launched. More than 2000 people attended the event over three days.”

Many thanks belong to everyone who made this event possible, the volunteers and helpers, the vendors and all the sponsors.

And if you missed it, you have one more chance with the third and final North Pole Express at the RMEO this year on December the 10th. Train rides might be sold out, but all other activities are still going and sometimes tickets open up. Check with the museum at (613) 283-5696. The museum gift shop will be open until December 17th 10-3 for Christmas shopping. So come on by and then head to the Smiths Falls Christmas parade afterwards.

Article by Chris Uhlig

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News