A crowd estimated in the thousands witnessed the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop in Wauwatosa for the second consecutive year.
The train arrived at the Harwood Avenue crossing about 40 minutes past its scheduled 4:45 p.m. arrival time Tuesday, Dec. 6 but the people stuck around despite the 30-degree weather and light wind.
The music for the event was provided by Canadian blues rocker Colin James who is touring in support of his new album and country singer/songwriter Kelly Prescott. They played a blend of holiday tunes and melded country rock with the blues and had the crowd in the Village swaying and tapping their toes.
Girl Scouts and middle school students Michela Miller and Madison Sveum of Troop 1185 coordinated efforts to bring the CP Holiday Train to the Village of Wauwatosa in 2015 and they were introduced on stage during the event. Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley also spoke to the crowd and thanked everyone for attending and donating money and food for Tosa Cares.
Similar to 2015, the event benefited the Tosa Cares Food Pantry. Tosa Cares is an all-volunteer organization which collects nonperishable food items, personal care items, clothing and school supplies for distribution to families in need. Food was collected by volunteers in grocery carts with the assistance of local scout troops and area businesses.
"We were able to announce that a Girl Scout troop from Longfellow Middle School collected the most food of any troop in Wauwatosa," Tosa Cares coordinator Linda Ertel said. "We presented them with a plaque for their efforts."
Scout troops dropped off food at the Tosa Cares pantry Dec. 2 and the food was weighed to determine which troop collected the largest amount.
CP operates two holiday trains with approximately 150 shows taking place in November and December. The train that operates primarily through the U.S. launched in the Montreal area Nov. 25, while the all-Canada train's first shows came a day later, also in Montreal. The U.S. train will complete its final shows in Saskatchewan Dec. 15, and the final show of the tour will take place Dec. 17 at Port Coquitlam, B.C.