Country’s Chatter has been writing about The Santa Train every year since this website started. We have made nin trips onboard with media, hundreds of volunteers, and celebrity guests as the train made its way along a 110-mile track. The purpose of this annual trip was to drop toys, gifts, and food to the residents living in the coal mining region of Kentucky and Virginia, and ending in Tennessee.
Each year, some 15,000 tons of items were given to thousands of folks at 14-scheduled stops along the route. Folks had been coming out to meet The Santa Train for the past 77 years. People who came as children were now bringing their children and grandchilden to meet the train. This year, The Santa Train posted the following announcement on their Facebook page:
After carefully reviewing the number of COVID-19 cases in the Southeastern U.S., the Santa Train partners have decided to reimagine this year’s event to provide a safe alternative to the traditional Santa Train.
On Saturday, November 21, our team will deliver gifts from Santa at select Food City locations along the regular route, where families can pick up gifts from their cars to minimize physical contact. More details about the exact locations will be shared over the coming months on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Our goal every year is to spread Christmas spirit along the Santa Train route, and it’s now more important than ever that we honor that commitment for families who have come out every holiday season for 78 years. Our team is already looking forward to seeing everyone from a safe distance this November.
As you can see from their Facebook statement, the gifts will still be distributed, though in a different way. People living outside of this area, and even those who only know about this wonderful organization by what they have read here, may find it difficult to fully understand the help The Santa Train has been to people throughout this region.
We are going to close this article with a some photos of prevous Santa Train trips. Many include the artists who otraveied on the train to help Santa with the gift distribution. Ricky Skaggs, Thompson Square, Darryl Worley, The Judds, Maddie & Tae, Marty Stuart, Amy Grant, and others.