When and where to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in Iowa (2023)

Nov 20th, 2023 starts the 25th year of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.  During November and December, CPKC (Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Limited) has two different trains that crisscross the United States and Canada making stops in both small towns and metropolitan areas. The three trains will make a journey as far east as Maine, south into Texas, and as far west as Vancouver, Canada.  

Each holiday train is approximately 1,000 feet long and contains 14 cars that are decorated with LED lights and holiday designs.  The lights are on throughout the entire trip, as long as they are traveling on CPKC tracks. 

Details:  cpkcr.com/holidaytrain

When and where does the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop in Iowa? 

Sunday, November 26 (Performers are Seaforth and Kiesza)

  • Clinton: 3:05 p.m. arrival; Event at East end of Main Avenue, near Sawmill Museum from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m.
  • Davenport: 5:45 p.m. arrival; Event at the corner of Western Avenue and West River Drive from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Muscatine: 7:30 p.m. arrival; Event at West end of River Side Park at Chesnut Street and Harbor Drive 7:45 to 8:15 p.m.

Monday, November 27 (Performers are Seaforth and Kiesza)

  • Ottumwa: 10 a.m. arrival; Event at CPKC station, 1300 Wildwood Drive across I34 from Kohl’s 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, December 7 (Performers are Tenille Townes and Breland)

  • Mason City: 7:45 p.m. arrival; Event at CPKC Depot at 904 South Pennsylvania Avenue 8 to 8:30 p.m.

Friday, December 8 (Performers are Tenille Townes and Breland)

  • Ossian: 11 a.m. arrival; Event at West Mechanic Street between Becker Avenue and North West Street 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Marquette: 1:45 p.m. arrival; Event in Marin parking lot, north of Casino Queen Marquette at Water Street and Highway 76–2 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Lansing: 3:50 p.m. arrival; Event at ball field on South Front Street between North 2nd and Dodge Street 4 to 4:30 p.m.
  • New Albin: 5:15 p.m. arrival; Event at parking lot adjacent to CPKC tracks on Railroad Avenue between Ross Avenue and Oak Street 5:30 to 6 p.m.

What happens at each of these stops?

Typically, the train will stop for about 30 minutes only. During that time, there’s a free concert by the performers listed as well as a quick presentation of the food and donations to the local food bank.  

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train. Photo credit: cpkcr.com

Are the concerts free?

Yes, the concerts are free.  They do ask attendees to bring a non-perishable food item(s) or a donation if they’re able. Local food banks will set up collection stations at each event, with all donations made staying with the local food bank to help people in need in the community.

Do I have to visit one of these stops to see the train?

These are the only locations where stops are planned for 2023, but technically, you can also see the train at several other locations as it crosses the state. Use the tracker map on the cpkcr.com website to find a location where you can see the train as it travels by.  You’ll probably find that other vehicles will park alongside the road near the intersection – and stay bundled up in their car until the train passes by, so they can catch a quick view of the holiday train.  

How much have they raised through the Holiday Train program?

Over the last 24 years, they have raised over $22.5 mi (Canadian) and over 5 million pounds of food.  All donations stay within the community where they are collected. 

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