79th CSX Santa Train Spreads Holiday Cheer Throughout Appalachia

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Nov. 23, 2021) – The CSX Santa Train rang in the Christmas season early in Appalachia on Saturday, Nov. 20. Team Santa Train and Food City associates distributed 5,000 pre-packed gift bags filled with warm winter accessories and toys to families and children of all ages at local Food City stores.

Saturday, November 20, 2021. (Photo by Earl Neikirk/Neikirk Image)

This year’s drive-thru event took place at four participating Food City locations (Shelbiana, Clintwood, St. Paul and Weber City) across the usual Santa Train route, where gifts were handed out from 8 to 10 a.m.

Saturday, November 20, 2021. (Photo by Earl Neikirk/Neikirk Image)

“I am thankful for the Santa Train sponsors for all their work in making this year’s event a special experience for children and families,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications at CSX. “We know how special the Santa Train tradition is, and while we wish it could be on the tracks this year, we were honored to have the opportunity to share the Santa Train spirit with the community.”

In addition to CSX, event partners include Appalachian PowerFood CityKingsport Chamber of Commerce and Soles4Souls. For the second year in a row, nonprofit and CSX Pride In Service Partner First Responders Children’s Foundation provided thousands of toys for the event.

“It’s always an honor to kick off the holiday season with the Santa Train, and this year was no exception,” said Raymond Stockard, store manager of North Eastman Road Food City in Kingsport. “The team at Food City was grateful to work alongside the other event sponsors to bring this holiday tradition to life and play a role in spreading Christmas cheer to the communities.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The manager of the Food City store in St. Paul told the CVT that several hundred cars with happy children inside proceeded through the store’s parking lot to be part of this year’s Santa Train event. Despite the cold temperatures, store employees who helped make the event possible had a great time!

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