Yearly Archives: 2014

Union Depot and Neighborhood House Celebrate 3,800 Pounds of Food and $12,800 of Cash Donated during Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Visit

December 19, 2014

Union Depot and Neighborhood House in St. Paul celebrated the arrival of the CP Holiday Train on Friday, December 12. More than 7,000 people poured into the historic Union Depot and out onto the train deck that once was the location of over 20 tracks to see the beautifully lit CP Holiday Train. A lively performance by Kira Isabella and Home Free provided the audience the opportunity to warm up with toe-tapping entertainment.

Attendees of the event donated 3,863 pounds of food and $2,837 through cash contributions and VIP ticketing. Neighborhood House Food Shelf also received a $10,000 check from Canadian Pacific Railroad. Neighborhood House’s 25 volunteers accepted donations and packed three truckloads of canned goods. “We are so grateful to be the recipients of the food drive as part of this amazing event. Thank you CP Holiday Train and Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority for choosing Neighborhood House!” said Joan Schlecht, Director of Programs – Basic Needs at Neighborhood House.

The wide variety of foods donated will serve the diverse populations of Ramsey County. In addition, the $12,837 has an enormous multiplier effect. The food and dollars collected will provide groceries to more than 1100 individuals who will be able to prepare 13,917 meals. In 2014, Neighborhood House has distributed more than 1 million pounds of food. “Living a healthy life includes accessibility to fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins,” said Rafael Ortega, chair, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority. “Eating well is difficult for many people due to financial limitations. We value Neighborhood House as a strong partner as we work together to increase food security for those in need.”

The grand and historic Union Depot in Lowertown continues to grow as a unique gathering place for people – whether they are travelers passing through, living in Saint Paul or stopping in the area for a visit. In the two years since Union Depot was re-opened, hundreds of events and celebrations have welcomed community members into the space.

CP Holiday Train

December 3, 2014

The CP Holiday Train will stop at historic Union Depot on Friday evening, December 12 for a short musical performance that will benefit the St. Paul nonprofit Neighborhood House. The event will start at approximately 6:30 p.m. with a welcome by Rafael Ortega, chair, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, followed by a performance by Kira Isabella and Home Free.

CP Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities every year raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.  The CP Holiday Trains have covered over 100,000 miles and raised close to $9.5 million and 3.3 million pounds of food since the program started in 1999.  The Holiday Trains make stops in communities across the Canadian Pacific Railroad service area, offering free concerts and seasonal festivities from a boxcar turned into a travelling stage. The musicians on board the trains will play more than 150 free concerts.  Attendees are encouraged to make a donation to the local food bank – either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation – which stays within the local community.

“We’re excited to welcome the CP Holiday Train to Union Depot.  It’s joyful and colorful and CP’s mission to help eliminate hunger and provide access to good food really fits with the work we do in Ramsey County,” said Rafael Ortega, chair, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority.  “We have successfully partnered for healthier meal service at shelters and meal sites; made it possible for users of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards to shop at local farmers’ markets; and supported gardens, healthier vending, and mini-farmers’ markets at public housing sites.”

The CP Holiday Train event will benefit Neighborhood House with a $3 ticket that 250 guests may purchase to have a closer viewing spot to see the magnificent, festively-decorated train.  There will be additional standing room where other guests may view the train for free.  Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/canadian-pacific-holiday-train-tickets-14449925115. This event is one of many holiday happenings Union Depot will host during the month of December, including the annual Holiday Bake Sale, a ceremonial Holiday Tree Lighting with a musical performance by The Voice Top 5 Contestant Kat Perkins, holiday caroling, fireworks, the North Pole Express train with Santa, free Holiday Movie Nights and more.

ABOUT NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE: Since 1897, Neighborhood House has worked to help people, families and organizations develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to thrive in diverse communities.  Regardless of where a participant is in their life’s journey, Neighborhood House provides the tools needed to move from “survive to thrive,” working to help break the cycle of poverty through meeting Basic Needs, and offering Life Long Learning.

Other holiday events happening at Union Depot include the following.  For details about the events, including holiday movie show times, please visit www.uniondepot.org/events.

 

Union Depot Holiday Events

December 5-7 and 11-14:  “North Pole Express” Holiday Train

The Friends of the 261 will bring the North Pole Express steam engine and vintage train cars to Union Depot. Guests will enjoy the experience of a real steam train, Santa and his elves and holiday fun for all.  Tickets are $17.50 for children (3 – 12 years) and $19.50 for adults and are available at www.261.com/north-pole-express.

December 6:  Annual Holiday Bake Sale and Tree Lighting Celebration with Kat Perkins Performance; Debut of Bee Line Honey treats

Bake Sale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Nearly 20 of the Twin Cities’ top bakeries will gather at Union Depot to sell holiday cookies, and Union Depot will offer a special cookie created using Bee Line Honey from the five beehives kept on the building’s rooftop.  The event will also include displays of modern and historic holiday décor, cooking demonstrations, musical performances and giveaways.  Admission is $5 for adults (kids under 12 admitted free).  A commemorative tin will be sold for $10 with a portion of proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.  Tickets to the bake sale are available at www.uniondepot.org/bakesale.

Tree Lighting, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.:  The annual holiday tree lighting celebration will begin at 4 p.m. with caroling and refreshments and the tree will be lit at 5 p.m. Fireworks will follow the tree lighting. The tree lighting celebration is free with refreshments available for purchase.

Kat Perkins Performance, 4:30-5 p.m.: Top 5 contestant from THE VOICE, Kat Perkins, will perform in the Head House as part of the tree lighting events.  Growing up the daughter of a music teacher, Kat Perkins has been singing, dancing, and performing for just about as long as she can remember. At just 15 years old, Perkins made the move to the Twin Cities from rural North Dakota and her professional career began as she became a success in the Minneapolis-St. Paul theatre scene.  Her single, “Fearless,” independently hit #5 upon release on the iTunes charts.  An inspirational speaker, talented singer and creative woman, Kat Perkins will dazzle visitors to Union Depot with her performance.

Bee Line Honey Treats: Union Depot will debut a collection of Bee Line Honey treats including Honey Bon-Bons crafted with Bee Line Honey and produced by Mademoiselle Miel and limited-edition jars of Bee Line Honey will be available starting at $3.00.

December 12 and 19:  Free Holiday Movie Nights

Holiday favorites (Disney’s) Frozen, The Polar Express and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation will be shown on a large screen in the Waiting Room.  The movie showings are free and open to the public.  Visit www.uniondepot.org/events for show times and details.

Union Depot Gets Into the Holiday Spirit With Series of Events for All Ages Including Special Performance by THE VOICE Top Five Contestant Kat Perkins

November 10, 2014

Union Depot in downtown St. Paul will offer festive events for all ages during the month of December, highlighted by a musical performance by musician and THE VOICE Top Five contestant Kat Perkins.  On Saturday, December 6 the historic space will host the annual Holiday Bake Sale featuring nearly 20 of the top Twin Cities bakeries and the debut of a collection of treats made with Bee Line Honey from the five beehives on the Union Depot rooftop.  The day’s activities will also include musical entertainment and refreshments, topped off by the annual Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony with carolers, fireworks and a musical performance by THE VOICE contestant Kat Perkins.  Other activities during the month include visits by a holiday-themed train and free holiday movie nights on December 12 and 19.  Below is a schedule with event details.

December 5-7 and 11-14:  “North Pole Express” Holiday Train

The Friends of the 261 will bring the North Pole Express steam engine and vintage train cars to Union Depot. Guests will enjoy the experience of a real steam train, Santa and his elves and holiday fun for all.  Tickets are $17.50 for children (3 – 12 years) and $19.50 for adults and are available at www.261.com/north-pole-express.

December 6:  Annual Holiday Bake Sale and Tree Lighting Celebration with Kat Perkins Performance; Debut of Bee Line Honey treats

Bake Sale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Nearly 20 of the Twin Cities’ top bakeries will gather at Union Depot to sell holiday cookies, and Union Depot will offer a special cookie created using Bee Line Honey from the five beehives kept on the building’s rooftop.  The event will also include displays of modern and historic holiday décor, cooking demonstrations, musical performances and giveaways.  Admission is $5 for adults (kids under 12 admitted free).  A commemorative tin will be sold for $10 with a portion of proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.  Tickets to the bake sale are available at www.uniondepot.org/bakesale.

Tree Lighting, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.:  The annual holiday tree lighting celebration will begin at 4 p.m. with caroling and refreshments and the tree will be lit at 5 p.m. Fireworks will follow the tree lighting. The tree lighting celebration is free with refreshments available for purchase.

Kat Perkins Performance, 4:30-5 p.m.: Top 5 contestant from THE VOICE, Kat Perkins, will perform in the Head House as part of the tree lighting events.  Growing up the daughter of a music teacher, Kat Perkins has been singing, dancing, and performing for just about as long as she can remember. At just 15 years old, Perkins made the move to the Twin Cities from rural North Dakota and her professional career began as she became a success in the Minneapolis-St. Paul theatre scene.  Her single, “Fearless,” independently hit #5 upon release on the iTunes charts.  An inspirational speaker, talented singer and creative woman, Kat Perkins will dazzle visitors to Union Depot with her performance.

Bee Line Honey Treats: Union Depot will debut a collection of Bee Line Honey treats including Honey Bon-Bons crafted with Bee Line Honey and produced by Mademoiselle Miel and limited-edition jars of Bee Line Honey will be available starting at $3.00.

December 12 and 19:  Free Holiday Movie Nights

Holiday favorites (Disney’s) Frozen, The Polar Express and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation will be shown on a large screen in the Waiting Room.  The movie showings are free and open to the public.  Visit www.uniondepot.org/events for show times and details.

Holiday Bake Sale and Events at Union Depot

October 31, 2014

As a kick off to the holiday events schedule, the Holiday Bake Sale, Union Depot’s annual holiday gathering will host top Twin Cities bakeries on Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Waiting Room at Union Depot. Guests will experience a mix of modern and historic holiday décor. Activities include: cooking demonstrations, musical performances and fun giveaways throughout the day. Christos will be offering gyro sandwiches and refreshments for purchase.

Admission is $5 for adults and seniors; kids under 12 admitted free. Commemorative holiday tins will be sold for $10 and include one general admission, recipe cards from participating bakeries, a Union Depot specialty cookie and a drawing form to enter to win prizes. Part of the proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority. Tickets available at: uniondepot.org/bakesale.

NEW THIS YEAR! Union Depot will be making specialty cookies for the bake sale with their Bee Line Honey. Union Depot is home to five rooftop beehives. These hives help support the endangered honeybee community while producing a healthy and delicious treat. Honey produced by the Bee Line bees is collected to make sweet treats available for purchase, but this is the first time it will be used to make cookies. Bee Line Honey will be available for sale for the first time at the Holiday Bake Sale. Union Depot partnered with Mademoiselle Miel, a St. Paul beekeeper and chocolatier, to oversee their beehives and creation of honey treats.

 

Immediately following the bake sale will be the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on the North Plaza of Union Depot where there will be complimentary refreshments, musical entertainment, fireworks and an opportunity to take a holiday photo. The tree lighting will take place at 5:00 p.m.

Holiday events continue on December 12 and December 19 when Union Depot will once again host FREE movie nights.  All movies will be shown in the Waiting Room. Concessions will be available for sale during all movie nights.Visit uniondepot.org/events for details.

 

Schedule for the Holidays at Union Depot: Holiday Bake Sale, Tree Lighting and Holiday Movie Nights

BAKERIES:    Annie B’s; Barkley’s Bistro; Bars Bakery; Birchwood Café; The Buttered Tin; Common Roots; Cookie Cart; Curly Girlz Candy; Foxy Falafel with Sift Gluten Free Bakery; Groundswell; Groveland Confections; Just Truffles; Petite Sweets; St. Paul Classic Cookie Company; Union Depot’s Bee Line Honey Cookies

WHEN:

December 6:     Bake sale: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

December 6:     Tree Lighting Celebration: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Tree Lighting:     5:00 PM

December 12:     Movie Night

December 19:     Movie Night

TICKETS:

Holiday Bake Sale General Admission: FREE Kids Under 12, $5 Adults

(Tickets available at uniondepot.org/bakesale)

Free admission to the tree lighting ceremony.

Free admission to Movie Nights.

 

Lowertown Boos Crawl & Costume Contest Kicks Off at Union Depot

October 13, 2014

Historic Union Depot in St. Paul will kick-off the seventh annual Lowertown Entertainment District Boos Crawl & Costume Contest, Saturday, October 25. With more than 700 participants last year, the Boos Crawl draws the best and the scariest of the Twin Cities to the finest eating and drinking establishments Lowertown has to offer, for drinks, costume contests, and hours of scary fun.

After kicking off the night at a vamped-up Union Depot, and competing for a chance at the Best Original Costume Contest (a $150 prize), participants may parade to seven other Lowertown locations to earn stamps on their Event Passports. In addition, three more themed costumes contests will be held throughout the night, and participants who fill their passports at all eight sites earn a shot at the $500 Grand Prize.

After the Union Depot starting point, crawlers will be invited to stop at Barrio, The Bulldog, Golden’s Deli, Gopher Bar, Hat Trick Lounge, Señor Wong and Trattoria da Vinci. Boos Crawl hours are 7 p.m. to midnight. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to participate in this event. Tickets are $25 per person and are available for pre-sale now through October 25 at The Bulldog in Lowertown. On the night of the event, tickets will be available at all participating locations.

For more information visit the Facebook event page here.

Side Track

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From West Cornwall, Connecticut, Tim Prentice’s delicate and ephemeral wire and metal sculpture was the first major art piece to be installed at Union Depot. It hangs in the newly built Kellogg Entry, where visitors ascend from street level to the historic waiting room. “Side Track”, installed in four 12 X 4 feet sections, is a $200,000 commission.

Six historic and multicultural murals

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Ralph Gilbert, a figurative muralist, experienced in painting narratives dealing with diverse cultures and history, completed six separate historic murals for the Waiting Room in late 2014. Topics of the murals include wartime, immigration, orphan train, mail delivery, early settlement and railroad service workers. A $150,000 commission, Gilbert’s murals were chosen from a pool of 69 submissions.

Interactive Multimedia Artwork Platform (IMAP)

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This commission is organized by Twin Cities-based Northern Lights.mn, and is comprised of a suspended, three dimensional, light animation, 8 1/2 x11 by Jim Campbell (San Francisco), and a participatory story project with custom furniture and Amateur Intelligence Radio (AIR), by Daily tous les jours (Montreal). This $500,000 commission was completed in early 2014.

Ode to Minnesota

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A large collage and resin table, Josie Lewis’ piece features an “all-Minnesota” theme, with a brilliant blue Mississippi River curving through the hundreds of thumb-size images relating to Minnesota history, time, art and culture. This $7,000 commission creates a functional meeting place in Union Depot’s Waiting Room.

Union Table

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Andrew MacGuffie, Noah Keesecker and Peter Haakon Thompson’s “Union Table.” A regulation-size Ping-Pong® table, this creation combines structural steel with artistic elements to present a unique interactive and community art experience. This $13,000 sculpture is equipped with paddles and balls so that any visitors to the Union Depot Waiting Room may enjoy a game, further enhancing the uniqueness of this space.