Union Depot in downtown St. Paul will transform into the “Hub for the Holidays,” kicking off the festive holiday season Thursday, November 30 with the North Pole Express train, followed on Friday, December 1 by the annual Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony with live musical entertainment, fireworks, the kick off to the European Christmas Market, and Holiday Movie Night featuring Elf. Department of Indian Work, an Interfaith Action organization, will be this year’s recipient for community donations of food and cash during our first weekend of holiday events with details for giving available below.
The holiday family events will be held the first two weekends in December at the historic venue. The second weekend will feature the 5th Annual Holiday Bake Sale, along with the continuation of the European Christmas Market and North Pole Express. Donations collected during our second weekend of holiday events will benefit Neighborhood House.
The Holiday Tree Lighting celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Head House with entertainment and holiday activities. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Enjoy a holiday musical performance by local American Idol contestant, Eric Gordon. At approximately 7:00 p.m. guests will move outside to the North Plaza for the tree lighting celebration followed by a short fireworks display. Afterwards, head back to the Waiting Room for Holiday Movie Night, where we’ll be showing the holiday favorite Elf.
December 1-3 and 8-10: European Christmas Market
Inspired by the success of its inaugural year at Union Depot, the market will expand to include Thursday and more than double the number of vendors in this year’s event. The market is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season. Visit Weekend 1 or Weekend 2 for details about vendors and the entertainment schedule.
November 30 – December 3 and December 7-10: “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. For any questions about ticketing, schedules or the event visit: http://www.261.com/npe/
December 1: Free Holiday Movie Night
Holiday favorite Elf will be shown on a large screen in the Waiting Room. The free movie showing begins after the Holiday Tree Lighting event and are open to the public. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs. Concessions will be available for purchase and all proceeds will benefit Department of Indian Work.
December 9: 5th Annual Holiday Bake Sale
Union Depot’s 5th Annual Holiday Bake Sale will host the top Twin Cities bakeries for a day of cookie and candy shopping. Admission is $5 for adults and includes a free tote bag, seniors (60+) and kids under 12 are free. VIP admission is $10 and includes a commemorative train themed cookie cutter gift set, free tote bag and recipe cards from participating bakeries. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Neighborhood House. Tickets are available at www.uniondepot.org/bakesale.