Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Here is a copy of our brochure with all the details of when the train will be in town and what you can do while in town.  Merry Christmas

Monday, November 12, 2018

Welcome the North Pole Express

We've had a lot of people ask about coming to Ashley even if they don't ride the train.  Yes, yes, yes.  Everyone is welcome to come to Ashley during the Country Christmas.  Come early and enjoy shopping without the big crowds.  Get your sticker for only $5.00 and enjoy all the venues.  You'll see reindeer, visit the face painter and balloon person, play at the carnival and Candy Land, see the stage entertainment and children can visit with Santa.  And if you come early you'll be there when the star of the show, The North Pole Express, rolls into town.  If you've never seen a steam engine up close you're in for a big surprise.  It's an experience like no other.  Come and try it for yourself. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

100th Trip

Did you know that the very first train trip this year is the 100th time that the North Pole express will roll into town.  We've got some fun things planned just for that night.  So come to Ashley on Nov 16th to greet the train and see what's going on.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Volunteers are the heart of Christmas

It takes a lot of volunteers and a lot of volunteer hours to put on an event like the Country Christmas.  We're always looking for more volunteers.  If you would like to volunteer to work during the Country Christmas you can call Connie Andersen at 989-620-5088.  We like to reward our volunteers with a voucher for four wristbands and a voucher for 1/2 half of a piece of souvenir clothing. 
There's a lot of work that goes on before the event starts and everyone is welcome to help on Thurs and the last two Sats. before the North Pole Express comes to town.  We start at 9:00 and break at noon for a pot luck lunch.  Bring a dish to pass.  All table service is provided.  We usually work until 2:30 or 3:00.  EVERY WELCOME.  The more the merrier and the faster the work gets done.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Country Christmas Committee is happy to announce that work has begun on two projects that we have helped support.  These first three pictures are of sidewalk work being done for the Safe Sidewalks to School project.  The last two pictures are of the work being done on the Parks and Recreation Grant.  The new playscape at the park is already up and work has begun on the walk way that will go around the village.  

Monday, June 11, 2018

Village of Ashley Country Christmas Committee Chairman Roger Keck, along with committee members Connie Andersen, Beth Russell and Lynn Schulz are shown presenting a check for $50,000 to Village Council President Ann Paksi. This is repayment of the money that the village put up for the North Pole Express when it first came to town five years ago. At that time the decision was made about where to spend the money that was earned from the event. The village applied for a DNR Land & Water conservation grant to be used for parks and recreation improvement and a walk way around the village. The village received $109,000 and the Country Christmas matched that amount. The work has already started for the new playscape at the park. The old equipment has been removed in preparation for work to start when the weather gets warmer.

The village also received a grant from MDOT for the Safe Sidewalks to School initiative. The Country Christmas will add $90,000 to that grant. The grant money will be used to improve and add new sidewalks to make the walk to school safer for the children of Ashley.

Monday, March 12, 2018

North Pole Express 2018

It's not even spring yet and the North Pole Express is gearing up for the 2018 season.  This is from their facebook page.  Just remember that the village doesn't handle train tickets.  You must go to the Steam Railroad web page to purchase tickets. 

This Holiday Season, climb aboard for a magical journey back in time to the Christmas of yesteryears when you join us on the North Pole Express! Pulled by the Pere Marquette 1225, this majestic steam locomotive is most famous for its role in the 2004 Warner Bros Christmas Classic, THE POLAR EXPRESS. The 1225's blueprints were used as the prototype for the locomotive image, and its sounds were used to bring the Polar Express to life!

Depart from the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan for an hour-long ride to the Village of Ashley’s Country Christmas. We will be providing four classes to choose from, each offering a different type of service and ambiance to the passengers as the North Pole Express races northbound:

Upon arrival in Ashley, passengers will disembark for a two-hour layover to participate in the numerous activities the village has to offer; including live entertainment, arts and crafts, as well as having your picture taken in front of the massive 1225. Of course, the highlight will be meeting Santa Clause himself and even writing a letter to him!

The Pere Marquette 1225 was built in October 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works for the Pere Marquette Railroad. In 1957, the locomotive was retired and donated to the Michigan State University in East Lansing for display as an outdoor artifact to commemorate the steam era. In 1969, a group of university students commenced the restoration attempt on 1225 to operational service. Work continued in 1983 when the locomotive was moved to its new home in Owosso where the restoration was completed in 1988. Today, the 1225 is owned, maintained and operated by the Steam Railroading Institute.

The North Pole Express will operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting on November 16th and concluding on December 16th: