From staff reports
The Meridian Star
The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express is scheduled to arrive in Meridian on Friday, Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. at Union Station, 1901 Front St.
The Holiday Express is a six-car train that brings Santa Claus and his elves to communities throughout the country.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Holiday Express will be at the Kansas City Southern Yard, 127 North Main St., in Newton.
These events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
The Holiday Express also has a charitable component. At each scheduled stop, The KCS Charitable Fund makes a contribution of gift cards to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need. Over the past 11 years, thanks to the generous contributions of KCS’ employees, vendors and friends, the Holiday Express has donated more than $1 million in gift cards to this cause.
Earlier this month it was announced that this year's Holiday Express will distribute $107,650 in gift cards.
Led by KCS’ Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car “Rudy”; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.
The Holiday Express Christmas Train is one of this year's many Merry Meridian events coordinated by Meridian Main Street. Other Merry Meridian plans include:
• Merrehope's 44th Annual Trees of Christmas, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Sunday, Nov. 25
• The Miss Merry Meridian Beauty Pageant will be held at Elegance Ballroom Dance & Fitness Studio, 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 25.
Tuesday, Nov. 27
• Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall, 5 p.m.
• "The Forgotten Carols: A MAgical Family Musical" will be staged at the Temple Theater, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1
• The Junior Auxiliary hosts Breakfast with Santa at St. Paul's Episcopal Church with seatings scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
• The Merry Meridian Boutique Market & Outdoor Market will be set up at the MSU Riley Center, 9 a.m.7 p.m.
• The Meridian Museum of Art will offer its Merry Museum Children's Art Workshop, 10 a.m.
• The City of Meridian and Meridian Main Street's Holiday Parade will be held in downtown Meridian beginning at 5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 2
• Merrehope will have its Champagne Brunch noon-2 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4
• MCC Christmas Gala Chorus and Guitar Ensemble will be held at Meridian Community College's McCain Theater, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 6-9
• Highland Baptist Church's Singing Christmas Tree performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday and Sunday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8
• Meridian Symphony Orchestra presents its Peppermint Pops Concert at the MSU Riley Center, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 9
• The Temple Theater presents "The Nutcracker," 2 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 15
• John Tesh Big Band Christmas comes to the MSU Riley Center, 7:30 p.m.