Santa Train returns to Elkhorn City

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 3:47 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:39 PM EST
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ELKHORN CITY, Ky. (WYMT) - Kicking off the holiday season with gifts for everyone.

On Saturday, the CSX Santa Train returned for its 81st ride through the mountains, stopping through Elkhorn City.

Volunteers passed out toys and other presents to hundreds of folks who gathered at the railroad.

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday

Makenzy Bennett, of Kingsport, Tn. said the community is always grateful for their presence.

“Everybody’s always welcoming here, they always want whatever we can get and are very thankful for it. It definitely feels better this year than it did last year, being warmer,” she said.

Adding that it’s great to see how the tradition continues each year.

“I know there are a lot of people that are older that come and they say that they’ve been coming to it as a kid and they’re bringing their kids and their grandkids and it’s very special for a lot of families. And the age groups, you have babies, you have special needs, older kids, you have a variety of everybody,” she explained.

“It’s amazing to see all the different people that come,” said Volunteer Lily Litvany.

Misty Moore said she has been to the Santa Train three times, adding it’s a fun time.

“It’s always fun to see all of the kids getting out, seeing Santa Claus and getting gifts, it’s fun,” she said. “It’s great to see everybody come together and get toys because some people may not have the opportunity to get toys, it’s a great way.”

Folks with the Elkhorn City Baptist Church helped pass out hot chocolate, coffee and more while folks waited in the cold for gifts. Pastor Richard Greene said they’re doing their part to help the community.

”We knew there would be a lot of folks here. So, we believe that if folks come into our community, we as a church need to be there. Church is not just Sunday mornings at 11 o’clock, it’s being out in the community and being active. So, we put together the opportunity to give out coffee, hot chocolate and donuts. We have bibles that we had at the church, we gave those out,” he explained.

He said it’s great to see folks come together for a great time.

“CSX and the sponsors, they don’t have to do this, but they want to be able to help and so, our community comes together, folks in the mountains always come together. You know, we have a special bond in the mountains that you don’t just find anywhere,” he added.