On Saturday, December 9, the C&O Railway will hold its annual “Christmas at the Depot” event, featuring the one and only Mr. Grinch riding the “Little C&O” with area children. The “Little C&O” is a smaller train made especially for petite passengers. During a separate event in June, the tiny train even carried a few dogs from the Alleghany Humane Society who took a break from laying beneath the shelter to enjoy the light breeze naturally created by the twists and turns on the track.
For this event scheduled on the 9th, the “Little C&O” will run from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. at the C&O Railway Heritage Center and, whether you’re riding the tiny train or not, the day’s festivities are expected to be fun for the whole family!
In addition to Mr. Grinch, Santa Claus will be attending the event to visit with our local children and take photos. Admission is only $5 per person, though children 3 and under will get in free. A portion of the proceeds raised for this event will go to benefit the 2023 Christmas Mother program.
The Virginian Review sat down with Anita Bird, Wendy Montgomery, and Dale Perry to discuss additional details surrounding the event. This dynamic and cheerful trio was all smiles as they discussed the upcoming experience. “Santa will be there from 12-4 that day and the Grinch will be driving our little train,” Montgomery said. “We’ll have a layout in the museum that we’ll have running for them to watch.” Additionally, the gift shop will be open for those wishing to drop in and do a little shopping during the festivities, while the trains will be available for children to navigate through and explore. Hot chocolate, cookies, and popcorn will also be served.
Volunteer Dale Perry has also worked tirelessly on a train setup that will be available for children to observe and enjoy. “It’s in-scale. It’s T-TRAK… I have the one corner and there’s a little cabin… there’s a Christmas tree that lights up and there’s a 2-foot-section and I have people on there ice-skating on a frozen pond and I’ve got a couple vehicles with their headlights shining on the pond.” The setup, which includes moving trains, is very small according to Perry. It’s also a setup he’s been working on for the past several months in preparation for the Christmas season.
To observe Perry’s T-TRAK, take photos with Santa, ride the train with the infamous Mr. Grinch, explore the trains, and have a fun-filled day with family, we encourage you to head on down to the C&O Railway Heritage Center on Saturday, December 9 from 12-4 p.m. It’s sure to be a memorable event and fun for everyone!
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