Lincoln County – Correspondence – December 2015

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Lincoln County

I trust you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. And now it’s December and the Christmas season. Here in Lincoln County, there are a number of activities that fill up the holiday calendar.

Kershaw-Ryan State Park will hold their 7th annual Wonderland and Toy Drive. They have a nicely done winter holiday scene at the park and even a visit from Santa for the kids. The Toys for Tots Foundation has an event there, as well. Last year, over 150  people participated, and over 250 toys were collected for the families in the local communities that found themselves in need. Park Supervisor Andrew Porter is the event coordinator.

Families line up to ride the Polar Express at the old Moapa train station, built in 1905 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad and later moved to its present site on Highway 93 south of Alamo.
Families line up to ride the Polar Express at the old Moapa train station, built in 1905 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad and later moved to its present site on Highway 93 south of Alamo.

Over the past few years, Western Elite has sponsored their Polar Express Christmas extravaganza. This will be the 5th annual family fun time featuring horse drawn carriage rides, hay rides and caroling, a barrel ride for kids age 8 and under, and the Polar Express: two authentic old time railroad passenger cars, one from 1928 and the
other from 1940, pulled by diesel trucks. There is even the original 1905 train station house that served as the Moapa Train Station. It was once a private home as well, but now it serves as the start and return site for the Christmas Express trains, located on the Western Elite property 33 miles south of Alamo.

Western Elite decided to run things a bit differently this year and have reserved nights for their four-night celebration. Vice-President Scott Seastrand said the reason was to avoid the heavy crowds and long waiting lines. So, you had to reserve a given night, “and people did,” he said. “Except for a few spots, we’re all booked.”

December always seems to bring out the biggest hearts in the area. Organizations like Toys for Tots, Tip-A-Cop dinners, Shop-with-a-Cop, donations from local churches, the Masonic Lodge, and others help to give to children
who might otherwise go without a very Merry Christmas.

After the funds are raised, the local schools select a number of needy students who are then taken by bus to Walmart in Cedar City, Utah, each accompanied by a local law enforcement officer, given a certain amount to spend, and told to go to it.

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“The kids have a ball. They can see Santa, if they want to, have a picture taken,” said Sheriff Kerry Lee. “Then we treat them to lunch in Cedar City, and come home.”

And of course, as in so many other places around the state, local churches will hold various types of gatherings, Christmas Eve services and events to keep the focus on the centuries’ old, true meaning of Christmas.

Dave Maxwell

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