MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – The Delta Southern Railroad ‘Santa Train’ kicked-off its 3rd annual event. People didn’t just get the chance to take pictures with Santa, but they also got a chance to get on the train.

It was a very exciting morning for the Arklamiss, a little cold, but that didn’t stop friends and families from coming out to welcome Santa and spread the joy.

“Like I enjoy trains, you know, I think they are awesome, like a lot.” Says Carter, one of the kids attending the event. 

The Santa train  made its way all the way to the arklamiss, stopping at three different locations. 

The first stop was made at the Highland Park Baptist Church very early morning, and for some it was their first time meeting Santa.  

“It was a very awesome experience for little Dawn and Jade over here. They’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. This is her first experience with Santa Claus to get to meet him. She’s really excited that we are all here.” Said one parent, Eric Rose. 

“I was hoping to get here in time and we made it, so she’s very excited.” Says Rhonda Silmon 

“It’s like a fire truck” Says one of the kids, Aria. 

A fire truck look like, but one full of magic and lots of goodies. And just around 10:30 AM, Santa’s train brought even more goodies to the second stop at Lumen Headquarters. This time, even the big kids got a treat. 

“I think it’s amazing. I’m so glad they are doing this for the kids and everything.” Says one parent, John Gulett. 

“He’s a train fanatic so when we found out about it, we knew we had to bring him out this morning.” He says

 “The joy that we get to see him happy, it’s all worth it for me, so.” Says Mrs. Gulett. 

A family group even brought matching PJs for the occasion. They say they feel blessed and thankful. 

“We’re having the most amazing time.” Says Nicole Newton. 

“ We just came from church and then we got the blessing and then got to see this train and Santa Claus. It’s huge for the community.” She says. 

But it wasn’t all pictures and goodies, Santa also shared his ‘Santa Train’ experience with people of all ages. 

“I saw the emergency break, I saw the regular break, then I saw the reverser, and then the power on button.” Carter explained very excitedly.  

A unique experience I had to try, so Santa let me conduct the train myself. But as we got closer to the last stop, I let the experts do their job. And that’s how Santa made his last stop at the Ouachita Christian School. 

“It’s very cold but very exciting to see Santa on the train, it’s very awesome that you all are doing this.” Says a resident attendee, Jessica Mcdaniel.

But Santa Claus wasn’t alone this time, Santa Moma Claus completed the ride and shared the joy with the Arklamiss.

“It is wonderful, it just brightens your whole day to see the kids, and the smiles. and the reaction of people in general.” Says Santa Moma Claus. 

“The children have been fantastic. They are all hugs and and just loving to see me and get to tour the train and everything. It’s just been a great day.” Says Santa Claus.  

A great and magical day for everyone made possible by the Delta Southern Railroad who says it was important to reach out to the community especially during this holiday. 

“Coming out here with the community and the kids, that’s what our company is about.” Says

General manager, Dino Trevino. 

“We’re not just trains and hold stuff through here, we are part of the community. We are the community and we just wanna share that with the kids.” Says Trevino.  

“This is actually my dream job.” Says operation manager, Christopher Crockett. 

“And maybe one day you know, we probably crave that same thing from one of these young kids today.” Says Crockett. 

Santa Claus made a promise to come back to the Arklamiss next year. 

“Merry Christmas, everybody. I will see you all next year when I come through.”