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posted: 12/12/2012 12:40 PM

Hop aboard 'The Polar Express' in Bartlett Dec. 20

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  • A.J. Collier II, the engineer of the holiday trolley.

      A.J. Collier II, the engineer of the holiday trolley.
    Courtesy of Stephanie FitzSimons

  • Amy and Stephanie Skrabacz visit with Santa in his workshop at last year's Polar Express event.

      Amy and Stephanie Skrabacz visit with Santa in his workshop at last year's Polar Express event.
    Courtesy of Stephanie FitzSimons

Submitted by Bartlett Park District

The Bartlett Park District re-enacts Chris Van Allsburg's "The Polar Express" Thursday, Dec. 20.

All ages are welcome to climb aboard Santa's private holiday trolley and step right into the story. Participants will go on a trip to Santa's Workshop, where they will greet Santa and be able to share their holiday wishes with him. Santa will present each child with a small keepsake. Children are welcome to wear their favorite pajamas.

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The trolley will begin at Villa Olivia, 1401 W. Lake St., and will make its way to Santa's North Pole Workshop. The holiday trolley leaves Villa Olivia every 20 minutes starting at 4:40 p.m. and running through 8 p.m.

Guests preschedule their departure time when registering. There will be plenty of holiday activities and goodies to keep children occupied while participants wait their turn.

Families should bring their personal camera for photo opportunities. Children must be accompanied by a registered and paid parent or guardian.

Departure times are 4:40, 5, 5:20, 5:40, 6, 6:40, 7, 7:20, 7:40 and 8 p.m.

"We are excited about Villa Olivia as a new venue to start this magical event. Each year sells out, so be sure to register early to reserve your spot," said A.J. Collier II, Bartlett Park District health and fitness manager and originator of this special event.

"We have had so much fun going to this event in the past and we are looking forward to meeting Santa again this year. The trolley ride to Santa's Workshop makes The Polar Express come to life," said Renee Skrabacz of Bartlett.

The fee is $10 for residents and $15 for nonresidents per person. To register, visit the Bartlett Park District Community Center, 700 S. Bartlett Road, Bartlett, or call (630) 540-4800. This program is subject to random registration draw.

For information, call Collier at (630) 540-4839 or visit

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