North Pole Express visits Calera
Published 10:17 am Tuesday, December 21, 2021
By MEG HERNDON | STAFF WRITER
CALERA – Children from across the state traveled to the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera to experience the North Pole Express for themselves on Saturday night, Dec. 11.
The Heart of Dixie Railroad’s North Pole Express experience is a favorite among locals. Oftentimes the tickets sell out months in advance.
“It’s a sellout every year,” said Lindsay Barnett, event coordinator and ticket manager. “Tickets always go on sale in July and the North Pole Express nighttime event is sold out way in advance. So, people that are contacting us in November and December for tickets, it’s kind of tough for them to find.”
Barnett estimates that the Museum hosts about 1,000 people per night during its North Pole Express event.
Passengers are encouraged to arrive an hour early before departure. While waiting, they can stop by food vendors or the Museum’s gift shop.
Once guests get their tickets punched they make their way into their passenger cars and await the festivities.
Each car is decked out in decorations, and Christmas songs are played throughout the train. During the ride to the North Pole, passengers wait in anticipation to see Santa.
While waiting, hot chocolate and treats are passed out, and cozy Christmas stories are told.
A sign that reads “North Pole” and a dazzling light display let passengers know they’ve finally made it. In the middle of the display, Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the guests and begin their journey to the front of the train.
As they make their way through each train car, Santa and Mrs. Claus take pictures with passengers and ask what they want for Christmas.
Eventually, the train makes its way back to the station and passengers file out, making room for the next group of Christmas hopefuls, wanting to see Santa.
North Pole Express tickets are sold out for the season. Those who wish to attend in 2022 are encouraged to purchase their tickets in July 2022.