National Train Day will return to downtown Cary for the second year on Saturday, bringing with it all sorts of train-related activities.
The event takes place at Cary's Downtown Railroad Depot. Last year's event drew more than 5,000 people. More are expected this year. It all begins at 10 a.m. with a performance from the Cary Town Band and the arrival of Amtrak Carolinian train No. 80. It continues until 2 p.m.
The event includes displays, videos, food vendors and giveaways (including a prize for a family of four to travel anywhere Amtrak travels on the East Coast).
Kids can take home free train whistles, conductor hats, coloring books and other items. There also will be train-related merchandise for sale.
This year, a trackless train has been added to the activities. It will take people to and from the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, which will offer free tours of the building, a former railroad hotel. Guides will be dressed in 19th century period costumes.
Another addition for this year: The Chuggington Depot will include six learn-and-play stations with activities, a reading area and photo booth inside the depot.
Kids ages 2 to 15 also can ride for just $5 on Saturday as part of a special deal offered on National Train Day. Click here for more information about that.
Saturday's event is part of a national celebration that takes place at stations across the country. According to a press release from the Heart of Cary Association, which is part of the event, Cary is one of the top 19 celebrations in the country. (Fun fact: Amtrak filmed its national video and commercials at Cary's depot in November).
Cary isn't the only North Carolina depot with an event. Durham's station will have cake and refreshments, along with information about travel on Amtrak, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Charlotte, Fayetteville and Spencer also will host events.
For all the details, go to the National Train Day website. Cary's depot is at 211 N. Academy St. in downtown Cary.