The CP Holiday Train will be making its annual stop in Ashcroft on Friday, December 14 at 8:50 p.m. Photo: CP Rail.

The CP Holiday Train will be making its annual stop in Ashcroft on Friday, December 14 at 8:50 p.m. Photo: CP Rail.

Local News Briefs: The CP Holiday Train is coming

Plus Christmas lunches, a New Year dinner and dance, a dance recital, a Christmas concert, and more.

Christmas concerts

All are welcome to attend the Christmas concerts at Desert Sands Community School (December 14 at 1:30 p.m.) and Cache Creek Elementary School (December 20 at 1:15 p.m.).

The 12 Days of Giving

The Leadership students at Cache Creek Elementary School are running “The 12 Days of Giving”, to increase the food items available for families at the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society food bank.

Each weekday until December 20, students—as well as community members—will have an opportunity to drop off food items.

Christmas store returns to DSCS

The Christmas store at Desert Sands Community School will be open again this year, so it’s an ideal time to clear out any nice but unused items you have around the house and donate them. Items can be brought to the school office.

The store hours are 12:45 to 1:10 p.m. from December 12 to 18. All items will be priced between $0.25 and $5, and there are no holds, so be sure to get there early and bring some money.

Food Bank donations

The students at Desert Sands Community School are once again doing a food drive to raise donations for the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society food bank. Ashcroft resident Ryan Lake and his family will double any donations brought in. The school is collecting donations of cash and non-perishable food items, which can be brought to the office.

On December 14, AVID students at the school will also be leading a community food drive, so keep an eye out for them and have a few items ready.

Holiday Train

The 19th CP Holiday Train will be making its annual stop in Ashcroft on December 15, arriving at approximately 8:50 p.m. Alan Doyle (formerly the frontman of Great Big Sea) and the Beautiful Band will be performing at this free, fun family event. If you can bring a non-perishable food item, or a monetary donation, for the local food bank then please do.

Krush dance recital

The Krush Dance Company is holding its winter recital at the Ashcroft HUB on Saturday, December 16, with shows at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. This popular event is usually standing room only, so come by early to get a seat and enjoy the variety of dance styles on display. Tickets are $2 each at the door.

“White Christmas” concert

The Sage Sound Singers, with special guest the Desert Bells Handbell Choir, will be presenting their annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 17 at 2 p.m. at the Ashcroft HUB. Admission is by donation; refreshments will be available.

Seniors’ Christmas lunch

Don’t forget about the seniors’ Christmas lunch at the Ashcroft HUB on Wednesday, December 20 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Come and enjoy a lovely Christmas lunch, music, and games. Tickets are $2 each, and are available at the HUB office. The event is supported by the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society, Better at Home, and the HUB.

Christmas hampers for pets

People aren’t the only ones who can receive Christmas hampers this year. The Cache Creek Veterinary Clinic is accepting donations of pet food and supplies, to help the less fortunate pets (and their owners) in our community this Christmas.

Donations can be dropped off at the clinic during regular office hours.

Equality Project Christmas lunch

Anyone who is alone this Christmas is welcome to attend The Equality Project’s annual Christmas lunch, which starts at 1 p.m. on December 25 at the clubhouse on Stage Road in Cache Creek. Join them for a home-cooked turkey and ham meal with all the trimmings, and enjoy fun and fellowship.

For more information call (250) 457-6485, or email

Beef and Boots

The Ashcroft and District Lions Club will be holding Beef and Boots, a pre-New Year’s family dinner, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on December 30 at the Cache Creek Community Hall. It will be followed by a 19+ social and dance, which will feature a cash bar, great music, and lots of opportunities to dance.

The dinner is an all-ages family event, with barbecued burgers, a baked potato bar with all the fixings, and salad. Rolling Thunder Sound and Audio will be providing great music all night, and there will also be great party games for the young (and young at heart), a raffle table, a 50/50 draw, and door prizes.

Tickets are $15 for adults, and $7 for anyone under 12 years old (adult tickets include the dance as well). Families (two adults and two children under 12) can bring the whole herd for $40. Tickets are available by calling (250) 457-0732, emailing, or at

Yarn and Yap

The popular Yarn and Yap craft session that takes place every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ashcroft Library has finished for the year, but will resume again on January 10. Crafters are encouraged to bring their current project and work on it while enjoying tea, coffee, refreshments, and good company.

Christmas fun fact

Charles Dickens’s 1843 novel A Christmas Carol is probably the second most famous Christmas story ever written, and gave a new noun to the English language in the form of the main character’s last name: even those who are not familiar with the novel or its many film and TV adaptations knows what it means to be called a Scrooge.

The novel was written at a time when Dickens was in financial difficulties, and went on sale on December 19, 1843. By December 24 it had sold out, and by the end of 1844 it had gone through 13 editions. It arose from the author’s love of Christmas, and also a visit he paid to the Field Lane ragged school in London, one of several establishments that provided education for the city’s half-starved and illiterate children.

The novel was based on something Dickens had written several years earlier. “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton”, which was included in the author’s first novel, The Pickwick Papers (1836), tells of a mean-hearted sexton named Gabriel Grub who, as he delights in digging a grave on Christmas Eve, is visited by a goblin who shows him events from the past, present, and future. One of these events is the death of a young boy because his family cannot afford medical treatment for him. Like Scrooge, Gabriel Grub becomes a better man after his experiences, to the surprise of those who know him.

To view the first page of the manuscript, go to (and see if you can decipher it; good luck!).

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