|Thompson Square – by Earl Neikirk/Bristol Herald Courier
Throughout the hills of Kentucky, the 69th annual Santa Train rolled through handing out gifts to children. With 14 stops across Eastern Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, thousands gathered to say hi and see the man in red. The 110 mile route included hot country music duo, Thompson Square.
According to Shawna Thompson, “just to see the kids faces when you’re throwing stuff off the back of the train with Santa, it’s great. And it’s our first time on a train.”
Over 20 tons of food, toys, and other gifts worth about $1 million were given to those in the region. Different stops are made to help those in need. The long running tradition of the Santa Train has been in part of CSX Transportation, as well as in conjunction of several country music stars over the years.
Past honorary gift handlers include Patty Loveless, Alison Krauss, and Wynonna Judd.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website with over 20 years experience in music journalism, concert planning, photography, and promotion. Jessica is a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the 2019 Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT Class and a recipient of the Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award. Listen to her each week on WFKY on Friday mornings for the Nashville News Roundup.