Kansas City holiday tradition canceled for the second year

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Photo Courtesy: Union Station Kansas City Inc.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City will be without a popular holiday tradition for the second year in a row. Kansas City Southern announced it will not operate its Holiday Express train due to the ongoing pandemic.

The train normally draws huge crowds, but organizers said it’s not safe enough to gather because of COVID-19. The Holiday Express was canceled in 2020 too.

The Holiday Express is a fundraiser for the Salvation Army and communities where the train stops. Kansas City Southern said it still plans to host an online fundraiser benefiting The Salvation Army.

“KCS is pleased to celebrate 21 years of Holiday Express benefiting The Salvation Army in communities throughout our U.S. rail network,” said Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, Kansas City Southern president and CEO. “While it’s still not safe to gather for visits with Santa and tours through the train, the true stars of the show are The Salvation Army and the work it does all year round.”

The details of the fundraiser haven’t been announced yet. The Salvation Army said its largest need is for families who can’t pay their rent or mortgage and are facing eviction.

There are a total of 21 communities that will be helped from the money raised. In the Kansas City area, those communities are Kansas City and Slater, Missouri. Pittsburg, Kansas will also receive funding.

Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express has raised more than $2.6 million over 20 years.

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