KINGSPORT, Tenn. - The sound of the train coming means Christmas time is near for many in Appalachia.
It's the sound of a tradition on the tracks that many have shared with their families for 71 years.
The Santa Train made its annual 110-mile trek across Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia on Saturday going from Elkhorn City to St. Paul to Kingsport.
One thing the old and young look forward to is being greeted by Santa.
Santa doesn't come empty handed, he and his ‘elves' comb through the crowd at each stop handing out more than 15-tons of presents to all the boys and girls.
"The kids are excited the parents are excited everybody is excited just to kick off the Christmas spirit and have a lot of fun," says Santa.
It's just as crazy inside the train as it is outside, while Santa and his workers get everything ready to be handed out.
At the end of the day all of the presents are given out and the children leave with a present and a smile on their face and everyone leaves with the spirit of Christmas in their hearts.
This year was the first year long-time organizer and supporter Ed Moore wasn't on the Santa Train. Moore passed away earlier this year, but volunteers tell us Moore would want the train to keep rolling to help others.
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