Santa Claus pulls into the East Troy Railroad depot on board the 2016 Santa Parade Train. This year’s train is scheduled to arrive at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The annual Santa Parade Train arrives Saturday

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy Railroad’s Santa Parade Train makes its yearly run on Saturday, Dec. 2. The train departs from Mukwonago’s Midnight Magic celebration and makes its way to downtown East Troy for the Santa on the Square festivities on the historic Village Square.

“In anticipation of Santa’s arrival, local children will decorate the trees at East Troy Village Square Park on Friday, Dec. 1,” East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vanessa Lenz said. “Volunteers from Citizens Bank and costumed characters will be on the square from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. to greet the children and help them hang their handmade ornaments.”

On Saturday, special heated passenger trolleys will pick up riders from Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago and transport to East Troy. Riders will be able to walk to the East Troy Village Square for the community Christmas tree lighting.

“There’s nothing like getting a chance to see Santa Claus ride into town via the East Troy Electric Railroad’s Santa Parade Train. The beautiful train is covered in lights and decorated from top to bottom in festive decorations and you can catch a glimpse of Santa riding outside on the train’s flatcar along Highway ES,” Lenz said.

At about 6:30 p.m., Santa and his entourage will be escorted from the Division Street crossing via East Troy Fire Department firetruck to East Troy Village Square Park to light the Bob Barutha Memorial Christmas Tree.

Holiday activities are planned at Village Square Park, 2881 Main St., from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“This year we will have a s’mores and popcorn station, DIY Photo Booth, live music and no line for photos ($8 each) at East Troy Village Square Park,” Lenz said. “There will also be cookie decorating and a special menu at 2894 On Main, kids crafts and holiday marketplace inside Ivan’s Backstage, refreshments inside the East Troy Area Historical Society Museum, walking tacos in the Lions Lodge and more.”

The East Troy Lioness Club will offer walking tacos, hot dogs and hot cocoa in the warmth of the Lions Lodge beginning at 5 p.m. The Cub Scouts will be serving chili, hot dogs, hot chocolate and baked goods on the square, beginning at 5 p.m.

A bit of history

The original East Troy Christmas Parade train, started by the East Troy Jaycees and the railroad in 1972, was an historic reproduction of the Schuster’s Christmas Parade in Milwaukee. The Schuster’s Department store chain sponsored the parade, established in 1928, to kick off the Christmas shopping season. It disappeared in 1955 with the demise of the Milwaukee Electric Lines interurban and streetcar system. The train returned with the East Troy Railroad Museum.

“We love the holiday season and it’s extra special in East Troy,” Lenz said. “This tradition dates back to 1972 and the entire community gets into the holiday spirit. We think it’s an important part of what makes this town special and brings us together.”

Midnight Magic in Mukwonago

The Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Midnight Magic celebration will run from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The village-wide celebration will have an indoor crafter marketplace, shopping, parade, fireworks, pictures with Santa, holiday entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

The parade steps off at 3 p.m. from Mukwonago High School. Fireworks are set off at 9 p.m.

For more information, call 262-363-7758.




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