KINGSPORT, Tenn. — On Saturday, people in Kingsport will anticipate the arrival of a train packed to the brim with holiday festivities — the Santa Train.
The Santa Train travels 110 miles from Pikeville, Kentucky to Kingsport, Tennessee and makes 14 stops along the way. At those stops, they distribute more than $300,000 worth of clothing, food, candy and toys to thousands of people.
The stops include Marrowbone, Elkhorn City, Toms Bottom, Haysi, Clinchco, Fremont, Dante, St. Paul, Dungannon, Ft. Blackmore, Kermit, Waycross and finally, it will stop in Kingsport. It kicks off from Shelby at 6 a.m. and is expected to arrive in Kingsport at around 3 p.m.
The project is one of Appalachia's most anticipated traditions, and this will be the 80th year of the tradition. Before the train arrives, people usually pack into Kingsport's Centennial Park for lunch and festivities while they wait.
That event is called Santa's Depot, and it starts at 1 p.m. Food trucks will be available for the event, and people will be able to enjoy a drink while they wait for a train loaded with holiday cheer to arrive in town.