FAIRBANKS — Hundreds of people flocked to the Pioneer Park civic center on Saturday to ride the train, take photos with Santa Claus, see a restored locomotive and buy presents from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the annual holiday bazaar.

Train rides started at noon. Families bundled up for the frigid ride around the perimeter of the park, but none seemed to mind the cold. Rosy-cheeked children exclaimed, “That was fun!” and “Can we do it again?” as the riders disembarked at the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum.

Inside the museum, volunteers served hot chocolate, hot cider and candy canes as people lined up to take photos with the 119-year-old Porter locomotive, which served in the Yukon and Alaska gold rushes. 

By this time, Santa also was in the center, posing for photos with people of all ages.

All three levels of the center were crammed to capacity with about 80 vendors selling baked goods, jewelry, quilts, honey, decorated bottles and just about everything else one could possibly want.

All events, including face painting and storytime, were free of charge.

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter:@FDNMcrime.

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