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Holiday train returns to Hastings on Saturday, Dec. 11

Another holiday tradition will return to Hastings at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stops at the depot on East Second Street.

As in previous years, the stop offers entertainment and an opportunity to raise food and funds for the food shelf at Hastings Family Service.

This is the 12th year the CP Holiday Train has been raising food, money and awareness for food banks in communities across Canada and the United States. More than $4.8 million and 2.3 million pounds of food have been raised.

In December of 1999, CP began running a freight car decorated with thousands of Christmas lights across Canada to raise awareness of the issue of hunger. In 2001, CP launched a second Holiday Train in the United States.

At each stop, there is entertainment and a presentation of corporate contributions to the local food shelf. The community is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stay in the community.

Scheduled to perform on the U.S. Holiday Train is Melanie Doane. Over the last 10 years, she has promoted her solo albums, raised a family, and earned her reputation as one of Canada's most talented and diverse musicians and entertainers.

She embraces elements of rock, pop, folk, country and jazz, using them in a style that is all her own.

Doane has four Top 40 singles, a Juno Award for Best New Artist, a Canadian Radio Award for Most Charted Rock Artist, more than 200 shows in Canada and the United States performing with Jann Arden, Sarah McLachlan's "Lilith Fair" and Great Big Sea, and a Gold Record Award.

Between raising her children and making records, Doane has also traveled the United States with friend Gary Sinise playing in his Lt. Dan Band, toured Canada with Barney Bentall and the Bluebird North concert series, played shows with Canadian Idol alum Rex Goudie, had her music featured on the ABC show, "Brothers and Sisters" and the Canadian play, "Still Desire You." She traveled across Canada and the United States on the 2007 and 2008 CP Holiday Trains, playing 60 shows in less than a month while raising money for local food banks.

A new studio album is scheduled for release later this year.