Editor's note: The following is a press release from the Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Advance tickets for the 17th annual Lisle Polar Express Children’s Christmas Train now are on sale.
Last year, children and adults from more than 65 cities and suburbs rode The Lisle Polar Express.
The $16 tickets are available by mail by sending a check made out to The Polar Express to PO Box 4327, Lisle IL 60532.
Two trains will leave from the Lisle Metra station at 9:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m., respectively Sunday, Dec. 2. For faster service, guests are requested to enclose a stamped, No. 10 self-addressed envelope and to specify whether the tickets are for the 9:45 a.m. or the 1:45 p.m. train.
Beginning Friday, tickets also will be sale at The Nook on Main Street, at Lisle Savings Bank on Maple Avenue, at the 7-Eleven, Main Street and Ogden Avenue, and at the Safari Café in Green Shopping Center. All the ticket selling locations are in Lisle.
Tickets are limited. For further information about The Polar Express, contact the Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau at 630-769-1000 or 800-733-9811 or visit www.StayInLisle.com, then click on Visiting, then Polar Express.
The 10-car double-decker Metra commuter train will recreate the trip enjoyed by the award-winning children’s book penned by Chris Van Allsburg.
“The entire trip to and from the North Pole (Chicago) will take about 75 minutes,” Jack Kelly, the conductor, said. “The Polar Express will travel to the North Pole and immediately return to Lisle. No one will be able to get off The Polar Express. And please remember, The Polar Express always leaves exactly on time.”
The star of The Polar Express, of course, will be Santa Claus. Every child on board will also be able to visit with Santa at least once during the trip. This year, five Santas will be on board the 10-car train.
A group of clowns will join Santa on board to entertain the children and pass out special surprises. Costumed characters also will pass through the train greeting the children. They will be joined by a host of community "elf" volunteers who will pass out candy treats, coloring pages and lead each car in the singing of Christmas carols.
Once at “the North Pole,” Santa’s elves will give the children on board their “First Gift of Christmas,” a bell cut from a reindeer’s harness that pulls Santa’s sleigh. Along with the bell will be a note from Santa, “Found this on the seat of my sleigh. Fix that hole in your pocket. Signed, Mr. C.,” just as in the book.
Volunteers will read the complete story of “The Polar Express” in each car. The fun day won’t end with the completion of the train ride this year. The Lisle Heritage Society in cooperation with the Park District is opening The Museums at Lisle Station Park, next to the Lisle Metra train station, for its annual “Once Upon a Christmas” celebration. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., children and their parents can visit with live reindeer, enjoy cookies and pieces of pie baked in a brick oven, watch a real black smith shop in operation, walk through a waycar (caboose) and enjoy Christmas Trees from Around the World and a giant operating HO gauge model railroad display. And of course, they can visit with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
The Polar Express is operated by a group of volunteers dedicated to making the holiday season extra special for children. Members of the community are serving as elf volunteers and providing adult supervision. Anyone interested in helping with the Polar Express should call Wayne Dunham, Train Engineer, (630) 963-4280.
An adult must accompany all children.Every passenger needs a ticket.