The ride from Scituate to the North Pole is under new management this year, after library staff dropped responsibilities for the fund-raiser due to lack of resources.
In fact, the Scituate North Pole Express ride is a 60- to 90-minute ride on a commuter train from the Greenbush station, but passengers will get a full dose of Christmas cheer.
The ride, called the Polar Express in previous years, will be run by this time by Scituate’s CORSE (Community of Resources for Special Education) on Saturday, Dec. 3.
“We volunteered with the library [in years past] to see what was involved, and the library was phenomenal and they have been helpful if there were any questions. So it’s been a seamless transition,” said Lorraine Devin, the vice president of the CORSE foundation.
As in years past, Scituate’s SHORE (Scituate High Opportunities and Resources for Education, Inc) also will help put on the fund-raiser. Another thing that hasn't changed is the ticket price of $20 per person.
Keeping prices the same over the past three years has proven difficult, Devin said, especially as prices for everything else continue to skyrocket.
To make up the difference, CORSE is doing even more to ensure that this year’s program is a success.
“We’ve added some things, like the website, we’re getting the barber shop quartet, and we’ve been able to get some things donated,” Devin said. “We also added a sponsorship program this year to make up the difference so we could keep the ticket prices the same for families.”
In total, there are possibly 2,800 tickets that can be sold, and residents and locals are already scampering to secure their spot.
“We’ve had people calling Front Street Book Shop” looking for tickets, Devin said. “Every year, the trains sell out. We haven’t sold out yet this year, but we expect to.”
The event has typically raised $10,000 a year for the participating parties, but there is still a substantial risk involved in putting on this event.
“It’s a huge risk fund-raiser, since it’s a lot of money to rent the train…[which] has to be rented before you can sell tickets,” Devin said.
The Greenbush Platform is transformed with decorations and live entertainment. Additionally, volunteers dressed as everything from Santa to Elves greet children on the train, and in every car, there is a reading of the Polar Express.
There are also sing-alongs and free food and goodies.
“The kids have a wonderful time. It's very festive, and it’s a great event for kids in general,” Devin said.
Two of the cars are also reserved for special needs children.
Residents who wish to attend this year’s event should visit the website or Front Street Book Shop for tickets. Trains leave the Greenbush station at 9:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:40 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. Participants should arrive half an hour before their scheduled trains.