The Santa Train is coming to town in Skagway this weekend. The annual event draws hundreds of visitors each year. With mild temperatures, organizers are anticipating a good turnout this time around.
This time last year, it was particularly cold in Skagway.
“I think that last year the really truly frigid temperatures detracted people from coming out and participating in the event,” says Jacqueline Taylor-Rose, manager of marketing and product development at White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.
“But this year it’s looking like we’re going to be in the 40s,” says Taylor-Rose. “It’s amazing to think of all the extra people that will be coming out to partake in the Santa Train this year.”
Despite chilly temperatures, Taylor-Rose says White Pass still had over 660 people turn out to meet with Santa, and ride the train.
In recent years, the company has added extra train cars to accommodate more passengers. The train makes an 8-and-a-half mile trip up the track to Clifton before returning to Skagway.
“We just pulled the lineup for what we’re going to take on Saturday,” says Taylor-Rose. “We have 16 cars. And hopefully we’ll be ready to go and hopefully get as many people on as we can.”
The event starts Saturday morning at the White Pass Train Depot.
“When Santa Claus comes in on the train. He’ll come in at eleven and meet with all the kids from out of town,” says Taylor-Rose. “And anyone that he missed from Skagway the night before. And we’ll get everyone though the line to see Santa and then onto the train and away we go.”
Friday evening also offers an opportunity to see Santa, at the Depot from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“This has been a great way for the locals of Skagway to come out early, get their kids out to see Santa Claus,” says Taylor-Rose. “And make sure all of the with requests for the lists are going to be fulfilled this year.”
Taylor-Rose says she’s looking forward to this year’s iteration of the event.
“We are just excited to welcome everyone to this annual event,” says Taylor-Rose. “It’s been a pretty special way to kick off Yuletide for not only Skagway but the surrounding communities. We’re excited to see everyone out and about this weekend.”
The train departs Skagway around 11:45 a.m. Saturday.