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Yuletyme Train Ride to Bellefonte deemed a success

Officials at the Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce have deemed this weekend’s Fourth Annual Tyrone Yuletyme Train Ride a success.
According to organizers, a total of 167 individuals boarded the diesel-powered train in Tyrone Saturday and chugged for 90 minutes along the tracks before finally arriving in Bellefonte to enjoy the communities’ Victorian Christmas celebration.
“It was a wonderful trip,” said Rose Black, a board member of TACOC and one of many who helped organize the annual event. “We had good weather and it seemed everyone had a smile on their face the whole time. It was an enjoyable time.”
According to Black, the train departed the Rail Park Train Station at 9 a.m., following an hour-long reception that featured coffee, hot chocolate and fingerfoods.
For 90 minutes, riders had the opportunity to cruise through picturesque landscapes while chatting with friends, making news friends, and leafing through tons of paper material that included maps and walking tours of perhaps the largest area Christmas-time celebration – Bellefonte’s Victorian Christmas.
According to Black, Gardners Candies provided each rider with a snack, and the children aboard were given coloring books and crayons to help them pass the time.
“It was a really good day,” said Black. “We filled up two cars and probably could have filled two more. We know that after as much interest as we’ve had these past couple of yeas, the Yuletyme Train Ride is going to be making its way through Tyrone for years to come.”
And back too.
“We talked with some people down there who said they may be interested in a return trip back to Tyrone,” said Black. “A lot of our store owners here have asked why we were taking business out of the area. That’s not our intention.
“Our intention was to develop some sort of exchange program with residents in Bellefonte.”
According to Black, talks will begin with the community to see about having people return to Tyrone as part of next year’s excursion. She said the Bellefonte Area Chamber of Commerce currently sells tickets to its residents for excursions to Tyrone, noting that approximately 80 people per month are chugged over the tracks for fine dining at Burley’s on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We hope we can develop a plan that will get shoppers onto our streets downtown.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Black. “Not only will Bellefonte benefit from having all us Tyrone-area folk there, but our merchants here in Tyrone will also benefit from the return trip.”
In addition to the train ride, shopping opportunities and sight-seeing in Bellefonte, riders were treated to a tour of the Garman Theatre.
“We had great weather, a lot of activities and I think everyone had a great experience and fun-filled day,” said Rose. “Everyone was carrying a lot of packages when they left and everyone was wearing smiles.”
Black said because the interest in the train ride continued to be so high in 2002, there will be another in 2003.
“It’s already booked,” she said.
“We have to send a special thanks to everyone who helped put this project together, including Bonnie Patton, Gary Donner, Zackarey Donner and Mayor Stoner,” said Black. “It was really a total team effort. Thanks to everyone.”
TACOC also raffled off ten, $10 Shop Tyrone gift certificates. Winners were Don Chronister, Ed Heuston, Karen Ashcroft, Sharon Dannaway, Ted Loose, Janet Heuston, Maxine Peters, LeeAnn Miller, Josh Benn and Kim Hunter.