Monthly Archives: May 2015

Union Depot Welcomes St. Paul Saints Fans at Opening Night Pre-Game Celebration

May 15, 2015
snip of hometown hanky designed by Ken Avidor

Union Depot in downtown St. Paul will welcome St. Paul Saints fans at a home opener celebration on Thursday, May 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The event will take place on the North Plaza and will include a performance by the Harding High School Drum Line, cool jazz by Twin Cities Jazz Festival act The Jack Brass Band, an art market featuring the work of 10 Lowertown artists and others from the St. Paul Art Collective, and samplings of Lipton Sparkling Iced Tea, a new blend of classic tea infused with tiny bubbles and available in three flavors – peach, raspberry and lemonade.

While supplies last, guests will also receive a free Hometown Hanky, featuring sketches of Lowertown landmarks drawn by renowned area artist Ken Avidor who resides with his wife in the Union Depot Lofts. (See attached artwork.)  Christos Union Depot will be open regular hours that night, offering attendees a delicious option for a pre-game dinner.  The Drum Line will perform 30-minute sessions throughout the event.

Also kicking off this evening is Union Depot’s “Get on the Selfie Train” Contest.  Stop by Union Depot between May 21 and September 7 and find the selfie frame – or visit the Union Depot booth at one of the following Saints home games:  June 23, July 22, August 18, August 21 and September 1.  Take your picture with the selfie frame, post your picture to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #TEAMTRAINS and enter to win a pair of round trip tickets to Chicago on Amtrak.  One winner will be selected.  Official rules can be found at

The Saints’ ballpark, CHS Field, is a short walk from Union Depot.  The Union Depot home opener event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please visit or

Union Depot to Host Annual Train Day Event with 2 Locomotives, 6 Rail Cars, Rail-Themed Activities and Entertainment for the Whole Family

May 1, 2015

Union Depot in downtown St. Paul will host its annual Train Day event on Saturday, May 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with rail-themed activities and entertainment for all ages.  There will be five restored vintage rail cars and a brand new Amtrak baggage car specially equipped for those traveling with bicycles.  Several rail cars will be open to the public.  A modern BNSF Railway locomotive will be displayed on the track with the Great Northern 400 (Hustle Muscle), marking the first time a BNSF Railway locomotive is appearing at Union Depot since the venue reopened following an extensive restoration.

Children’s favorites Choo Choo Bob and Cannonball Paul will perform throughout the day and the St. Paul Saints mascot Mudonna will meet guests. Additionally, there will be a photo exhibit featuring images of trains, educational programming and tasty offerings from Christos and food trucks.

Visitors are encouraged to pick up a “Train Day ticket” at the Union Depot booth and have it stamped at different stations throughout the day.  While supplies last, each fully stamped ticket can be exchanged for a Union Depot t-shirt.  All fully stamped tickets will be entered into a drawing for additional prizes.

Below is a list of activities happening at the event:

  • Displays of Minnesota Transportation Museum’s vintage 1966 Great Northern 400 Hustle Muscle and 1951 Empire Builder coach car
  • Minnesota Transportation Museum’s diesel engine simulator to test your skills
  • Four restored vintage cars from The Friends of the 261 will be open for tours
  • A new Amtrak baggage car with bike racks will be open for viewing
  • A modern BNSF Railway locomotive will be on display
  • Photo exhibit of trains at Union Depot (Waiting Room)
  • Choo Choo Bob performing on the East Plaza
  • Cannonball Paul’s duo performing on the train platform
  • Paul Saints mascot Mudonna meet-and-greet from 2-3 p.m.
  • Educational programming in the Waiting Room will include Operation Lifesaver, the National Park Service’s Trails and Rails partnership with Amtrak, and a Dakota County Technical College presentation about Railroad Conductor Technology
  • Refreshments for purchase at Christos in the Head House and from Gastrotruck and Sizzlin’ Wagon food trucks on the East Plaza
  • Union Depot’s Bee Line Honey and Honey Bon Bons will be on sale at the Honey Pop-up Shop
  • Metro Transit games and prizes and meet-and-greet with mascot Skip
  • Megabus games with prizes including a pair of roundtrip tickets
  • Car2Go photo booth with fun props
  • Nice Ride bicycle slow races on the North Plaza
  • Free vintage bus rides between Union Depot and the Jackson Street Roundhouse
  • Lite Brite relighting celebration at 1 p.m. in the Concourse
  • Lite Brite “selfie” promotion in which guests can post a photo of themselves with the Lite Brite installation on Facebook and tag #UDlitebrite to be entered to win a Lite Brite set (entries accepted May 9-25)
  • And MORE!

Union Depot’s Train Day is free and open to the public.  For more information, please visit