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Ride the rails at Burke Junction holiday bash in Cameron Park

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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CAMERON PARK, CA — Kick off the Christmas holiday season at Burke Junction Saturday and enjoy train rides, shopping, holiday crafts and of course, a visit with Santa.

The western-themed shopping center, just south of Highway 50 at the Cameron Park exit, will offer puppet shows, activities for children and carolers throughout the event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8. Santa will be making the rounds from noon to 4 p.m.

“We will have lots of activities for the kids, face painting, numerous gift and craft vendors and of course Santa,” said Paula Springer, spokeswoman for Burke Junction. “The puppet show is amazing. There is a little puppet that plays the piano. It’s just a great show.”

Burke Junction was originally built to complement Sam’s Town, a restaurant and arcade that was not only a local attraction, but often a stop for those traveling to and from the Tahoe area.

There are six restaurants and numerous specialty shops at Burke Junction, not to mention the BUJU Express train that encircles the Junction.

“The train will be running (cost $3) and the shops will be open,” Springer said. “People can come to the free event, shop locally and enjoy one of our six restaurants.”

Mother and Father Christmas will be on hand in vintage costumes, and carolers will be entertaining the crowd with Christmas songs throughout the day.

Legends and Liars, an Old West reenactment group, and majestic Percheron horses are sure to delight attendees.

“This is a real family day with a wide variety of things to do,” Springer said.

Haley Blackstone, of Shingle Springs, said she plans on going to the event again this year.

“My kids get a kick out of the train ride and I can get in a little shopping,” she said. “It’s close to home, we can buy locally and enjoy the day.”