Keifer and Shawna Thompson, of the husband and wife country duo Thompson Square, perform in Paso Robles, Calif., in this photo from July. Associated Press
Thompson Square — Santa’s special guests on the 2011 Santa Train — will perform live in downtown Kingsport on Nov. 19.
Husband-and-wife Keifer and Shawna Thompson, who constitute Thompson Square, will join CSX, Food City, Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce and Kids Wish Network representatives for the 69th annual running of the Santa Train that morning.
Upon the train’s arrival in Kingsport, the duo will perform two songs from a platform also used by Santa’s helpers to toss gifts to the crowd.
The performance is scheduled to begin outside the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce at 3:08 p.m. The chamber’s building is located at 151 E. Main St. Roads will be blocked off starting around 12:30 p.m. for the Christmas Parade, which starts at 3:30 p.m.
The Santa Train’s 110-mile rail route stretches from Shelby, Ky., to downtown Kingsport, drawing crowds to 14 stops along the way where Santa and his helpers distribute more than 15 tons of toys and other gifts.
Thompson Square, on the Stoney Creek Records label, reached the No. 1 spot on radio charts — and has sold more than 1 million digital singles — with their break-out single, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not.” Thompson Square’s latest single, “I Got You,” recently climbed into the Top 10 on the Billboard Country Songs chart.
They garnered two CMA nominations, Vocal Duo of the Year and New Artist of the Year, for the upcoming 45th annual CMA Awards, scheduled to air on ABC Wednesday night. Thompson Square is set to perform during that broadcast and to appear later that evening on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
In past years, U.S. senators and representatives and several governors have participated in the Santa Train, as well as celebrity guests such as The Judds, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Travis Tritt.
The more than 15 tons of goodies estimated to be on the Santa Train is boosted this year by $500,000 worth of toys provided by Kids Wish Network — the largest toy donation in Santa Train history. This is the organization’s second year of participating on the train.
Barbara Askin, Kids Wish Network’s director of distribution, said the organization is proud and honored to be a part of the Santa Train tradition again this y e a r.
“This is what Kids Wish Network is all about,” Askin said earlier this year. “Reaching out to deserving children nationwide to bring hope to their hearts and smiles to their faces. It is the most rewarding feeli