Packing Party For The Santa Train

POSTED: 10:25 AM Nov 16 2011   UPDATED: 10:30 AM Nov 16 2011
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

Assembly lines work like well-oiled machines unpacking boxes and filling totes to take to the Santa Train.

"Little animals, lots and lot of Moon Pies," says volunteer Ruth Collins.

For some volunteers helping out for the Santa Train is like a trip down memory lane.

"50 years ago this was me up on the rail road tracks waiting for candy and stuff to be thrown out and we come back every year this is my 16th year being here," adds Collins.

The Santa Train tradition is something passed down through generations and each year it helps people get ready for the holidays.

"This is something that people really look forward to. It kind of kicks off the Christmas season and a lot of different generations come out to see Santa on the back of the train," says Jamie Horton with Food City.

On Saturday the train will travel through 13 different stops and all of the items packed up will be tossed out to families waiting for the train's arrival.

It?s something young volunteers say they remember vividly.

"I just thought I?d help out because this is awesome what they're doing here so the least I can do is help out and help them get the trash out of the way," says volunteer Chris Greer.

It didn't take long Wednesday night for the Santa Train volunteers to pack up nearly 20 tons of goodies that will be passed out with Santa on Saturday.

Here are some more Santa Train facts:

The train started in 1942 and it always runs the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

It originally started as a way for Kingsport businesses to thank people for coming to the area and shopping throughout the year.

Saturday?s journey will start early. The train leaves Shelby, Kentucky at 6:30 a.m. and will arrive in Kingsport at 3:08 p.m.

Country duo Thompson Square will be the celebrity guests on this year's Santa Train.