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Thousands turn out for Holiday Train

4 December 2013 No Comment

It was a cold night for an outdoor concert but that didn’t stop nearly twenty thousand people of all ages from showing up for the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train’s stop at Gage Park. Performing onstage for the occasion was Brothers Dube, Great Big Sea, Cynthia Dale and Natalie MacMaster, and Tom Cochrane with Red Rider. Peter Mansbridge hosted the event.

“Look at all the people,” said Mansbridge. “We’ve got thousands here in the park.”

Decked out in hundreds of thousands of brightly coloured LED lights the CP Holiday Train rolled in with much fanfare as Mansbridge led the cheering crowd on from the stage.

“Believe me,” said Mansbridge. “You’re going to be in for a treat tonight.”

The Holiday Train makes fundraising stops in over a hundred and fifty communities and Hamilton was one of the 3 signature events this year. The Holiday Train has been running every November and December since 1999 and has raised more than two and a half million pounds of food for local food shelters along the way.

Brothers Dube were the first to hit the stage just after the train came to a stop, followed by the energetic Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea. Just as the sun went down Natalie MacMaster hit the stage with a powerful performance on the fiddle. The ground was frozen solid by the time Tom Cochrane made his way onto the stage and with one blow on his harmonica he felt the chill.

“Oh,” said Cochrane. “My lips might freeze onto the harmonica.”

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider kept the crowd moving in the cold night with signature hit songs like “Big League” and “Life Is a Highway”. The dipping temperatures did little to prevent anybody from having a great time for a good cause and Cochrane explained why.

“This is Canada, ” said Cochrane. “Outdoor shows in the wintertime, because we’re tough!”

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