Santa coming to Hollister via “Christmas Express

Even the current economic and budget problems will not keep Santa Claus from a pre-Christmas visit with the areas children at the Hollister Train Depot. Santa will be visiting the children on a train at the depot on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This will be the second year in a row where Santa needed a little assistance from his helpers in the area to make his pre-Christmas visit possible and continue what has become a Hollister Christmas tradition into its 16th year.

Last year the Santa Train carrying Santa Claus, operated by the MNA Rail Road, had to cancel Santa’s pre-Christmas Hollister visit because of the ice storm and other weather related conditions experienced throughout the state of Missouri that started the week before his scheduled visit. Some of Santa’s helpers, in the form of Hollister Mayor David G. Tate, the employees of the city of Hollister, the Hollister Chamber of Commerce and the Western Taney County Fire District made special arrangements with Santa to reschedule his visit via an alternate mode of transportation and Santa was delivered to the train depot by Fire Engine.

For a while, it seemed that Santa’s 16th pre-Christmas visit to Hollister might be derailed again when the MNA Rail Road announced it would not be running the “Santa Train” this year because of budget cuts. But again, Santa’s Hollister helpers stepped in and worked with Santa and his friends at Branson Scenic Railway.

As a result, Santa will arrive at the Hollister Train Depot, at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 14, via the “Hollister Christmas Express,” a train provided by Branson Scenic Railways. Children will be able to board the train to visit with Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas until the train leaves at 4:30 p.m.

In addition to visiting with Santa, there will be other activities and treats for the children. “Flower Pot” will be doing face painting and “Ronzo” the clown will create his balloon art. In addition, the Hollister Area Chamber of Commerce will provide popcorn, drinks and gift bags.

After visiting Santa families can take in Hollister’s Christmas lighting displays. From the animated lights on Historic Downing Street and others at Town Hall and the Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park, to its lighting center piece, a 26 foot high Christmas Tree in the city hall area, the lighting displays help illuminate the wonders of Christmas.

Furnished Courtesy of the Branson Daily Independent