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: 

Monday, March 5, 2018

I know that it's still very early to be thinking about Christmas but guess what?  Tickets for the North Pole Express go on sale next weekend.  You have to get your tickets from the Steam Railroad Institute in Owosso.  Here is their web page address.

Please remember that tickets sell out quickly and if you wait to long you might not get the tickets that you want.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Last weekend of 2017

Well, the North Pole has made it's last run for 2017.  Here are lots of random pictures of everything that goes on in Ashley during the Country Christmas.  

Every year gets better and this year was no exception.  We were thrilled to have so many people who drove into Ashley to enjoy the event. 

The first glimpse of the North Pole Express as it approaches M57 just before it gets to Ashley. 

Have you ever taken the horse and wagon ride?  It's really cool to hear the clip clop of the hooves on the pavement. 

A couple of our hard working elves at Candy Land. 

You get a chance to visit a Christmas haunted house. 

The warming barrels are always very popular.

The Sweet Shop has many treats and beautiful decorations. 

Frosty was out on the street greeting people.

Mrs. Claus loved visiting the children while they waited to see Santa. 

Little Toot was very popular with the kids. 

The tallest man in town.  He was having great fun with mistletoe.

The big star of the show.  

Face painting and balloons are great fun.

Santa's reindeer always draw a crowd. 

What is it about a big pile of snow?

Waiting for Santa to draw for the first gift of Christmas. 

This little boy won the First Gift of Christmas.

Sometimes Santa invites a child up to help him sing about Rudolph. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus with the elves. 

The crew from SRI were the first ones to get their picture taken. 

The fire dept's herd of reindeer that helped with crowd control.