Santa Train switches to drive-thru event

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TENNESSEE (WATE) — It’s an Appalachian tradition, the Santa Train rolls through Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee; making 14 stops along the way. The big man in red usually tosses out gifts at each stop.

However, this year things looked a lot different.

Four Food City locations across Northeast Tennessee served as the make-shift Santa Train Stops.

Families and their kids were able to drive through, staying in their cars the whole time, picking up a backpack full of gifts, toys, clothing and school supplies.

Organizers say even though the Santa Train doesn’t look much like a train this year, they hope these gifts help spark some holiday joy.

“The Santa Train is a big tradition in families, I know this is my 23rd year of actually doing the train. I’ve had a lot of people respond saying they are sad the Santa Train didn’t run, but they are very thankful we were actually able to do this and give back and they loved it.”

Jamie Horton – Food City Santa Train Coordinator

Any gifts leftover will be given to school districts and local nonprofits for distribution.

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