74th Annual Santa train rolls through Kingsport

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KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – The streets of Downtown Kingsport were filled with holiday spirit Saturday afternoon as the 74th Annual Santa Train made its way home followed by a colorful Christmas parade.

Our own Elizabeth Keubel and Doug Counts took part in the fun as dozens of local schools and organizations rang in the holiday season.

santa-train-4Passengers on the Santa train unloaded one by one, at their final destination, Kingsport, part of a 74 year holiday tradition.

“This is officially what signals the arrival of Christmas in Kingsport. This is just a wonderful, wonderful tradition it’s really near and dear to the heart of all of us that work at the Chamber,” Director of Keep Kingsport Beautiful, Robin Cleary said.

Santa came along for the 110 mile, 14 stop journey, as all aboard passed out donated gifts to families along the way. The journey started in Shelby, KY and this year’s celebrity guest, country singer, Darryl Worley.

“I’ve been here a time or two it’s good to see you guys,” Worley said.

Cleary explained the train’s rich history.santa-train-2

“This train started out as a way for the merchants in Kingsport to thank and give back to the families that years ago use to ride the train into Kingsport to do their shopping,” Cleary said.

Santa’s welcome was followed by a colorful parade  A chilly day doesn’t stop Marlana Davis from coming back every year.

“We just love the entertainment, the attractions and the music and the people, it’s a great time everybody getting together,” Davis said.

A long journey home part of a rich tradition of making everyone’s holiday season a little brighter.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

 

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