KINGPORT, Tenn. —
The Santa Train is being packed for its annual trip through the Appalachians.
Volunteers will load 15 tons of toys, food and other gifts onto the train Wednesday for its 110-mile run on Saturday from Shelby, Ky., through southwestern Virginia, and on to Kingsport, Tenn.
The Kingsport Times-News noted country music husband-and-wife duo Thompson Square will be the special guests during the 70th annual run of the special train.
There will be 14 stops along the trip at which the gifts will be distributed. No gifts are tossed from the train while rolling and people are cautioned to stay back from the rails.
The train travels through some of the poorest areas of Kentucky and Virginia, beginning its run at 6:30 a.m. Saturday near Pikeville. After two more stops in Kentucky, the CSX engine, pulling vintage passenger cars, enters Virginia, where it will make 10 stops over the next 6 hours before pulling into Tennessee and heading for its destination of Kingsport.
Called the world’s longest Santa parade, the run this year is sponsored by CSX Transportation, Food City, the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce and Dignity U Wear.
The Santa Train has become one of the most anticipated holiday events in the Appalachian mountains.