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Arts & Culture

Tens Of Thousands Take The Essex Steam Train To Santa

About 85,000 people will ride the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat’s Christmas trips this holiday season.

“We are going back to 1910, 1915, when our great-grandparents rode the rails. It’s a little simpler, a little easier,” railroad president Kevin Dodd said before climbing aboard a coal-fired locomotive for a fantastical trip to the North Pole.

Some parents said it is important for young people to have a belief in Santa or a faith in the good things in the world.

“When they believe in Santa Claus, there is a magic about it, and an excitement about the season and what it is to give and receive. I think it’s a lot of fun for her,” Chelsea Robinson said about her 3-year-old daughter, June.

Robinson, her husband, Brian, and June wore festive sweaters with light-up reindeer, a unicorn and a cat with broken ornaments.

Eight-year-old Maeve Tennant said she believes in Santa.

“I love seeing trains, and I really want to go on one, and I am really, really excited for the hot chocolate,” Maeve said.

“Isn’t that the magic of Christmas?” said cinnamon fairy Cindy Von Cinnabun. “It keeps the magic alive for everyone if we all believe a little bit.”

The cinnamon fairy was portrayed by an in-character Juleie Gaarskjaer.

The North Pole Express and the Santa Special run through Dec. 29.

Arts & Culture trains
Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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