December 11, 1998

Visions of Sugarplums Dance in the Heads of Barrio Children

Barrio Logan — For the third consecutive year the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park and the San Diego 3-Railers toy train club are combining efforts to bring toy trains to the "Village" of San Diego as part of the Museum's community outreach program. This year's event is being sponsored in Barrio Logan by the Centro Cultural de las Artes of Chicano Park and Tall Horizons Campaign, a national cultural education project. The event dubbed Celebración del Tren will be staged at the Progressive Youth Center near Chi-cano Park from December 16 through December 32, 1998.

According to David Paez, Executive Vice President - Senior Project Affairs for Tall Horizons Campaign, "The temporary installation of toy trains will brighten the interior of the Progressive Youth Center in Barrio Logan. There, children of our Chicano neighborhood will get a first-hand look at a sophisticated toy that has usually lived mainly in seasonal dreams somewhere intermingled in most kids' imaginations with sugarplums and other Christmas loot."

The highlight of this holiday event occurs December 22 when a multitude of elementary school children in homemade train costumes will trail a papier mache version of a locomotive through the streets of Barrio Logan in celebration of the Christmas holiday, emulating the Latino ritual of Posada. Posada is a Spanish language caroling through neighborhood streets that imitates the Holy Family traveling from inn to inn looking for a birthing place for the baby Jesus.

A workshop for construction of train costumes will be conducted with the neighborhood children under the guidance of renowned muralist Mario Torrero, President of Centro Comunitario. Participating organizations and schools include the Marcado Apartments Parents Association; the Progressive Youth Center; and neighborhood elementary schools Perkins, Memorial, Sherman, and Brookling.

Two electric toy trains sets will be given away to children participating in the Celebración del Tren during a drawing held as part of the Christmas festivities. An HO Scale train set has been donated by Reed's Trains in La Mesa, and All Aboard Trains in Kearny Mesa will provide the lucky boy or girl with an LGB train set in G Scale.

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