Job fair Fri. and Sat. will fill Polar positions 10/16/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 16, 2015

Job fair Fri. and Sat. will fill Polar positions

By Rita Howell
A job fair today and tomorrow will offer opportunities for 265 part time jobs connected to the coming Polar Express Train Ride, which begins November 18.
People as young as 14 are invited to apply for theatrical roles as elves, chefs and even hobos who reenact the fantasy Christmas Eve train ride portrayed in Chris Van Allsburg’s book and the subsequent movie.
“It’s all about entertaining children,” said train supervisor Marcus Henry of Batesville. “There’s not a lot of real dancing. You just have to be energetic.”
He will manage 231 of the new employees.
All ages are needed for a variety of jobs which include ticket agents, parking lot attendants, sound technicians, gift shop attendants, and janitors. Santa Claus characters are needed, too.
The pay scale is $8 to $13 per hour, depending on the job, according to event coordinator Mary Graydon.
The job fair will be at 115A Public Square, from 1-6 today, and from 10-4 Saturday. A second hiring event is scheduled the following weekend, October 23-24, with the same hours.
After the railroad company sold out of tickets soon after they went on sale, Iowa Pacific has added more cars and more tickets are now available.
The train will run daily November 18-December 27, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when no service is scheduled.
There will be two trips Monday-Friday, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. On Saturdays there will be five departures, and on Sundays, three. The train can carry about 1,200 passengers for each hour-long journey to the North Pole (Pope) and back to the Batesville Square.
In Memphis Wednesday to promote the Batesville Polar Express, Angela Lane, vice president of sales and marketing for Premier Rail Collection, told the Commercial Appeal that the company could welcome 40,000 people aboard the event this year.
“It has been a phenomenal success,” she told the newspaper. “This has been the most robust launch for any Polar that we’ve done.”
The company operates nine Polar Express events in the U.S. and Britain.
Premier Rail Collection is a unit of Iowa Pacific Holdings, the company that leased the Grenada Railway and began offering freight service on the former Illinois Central track earlier this year.
Lane said the company is considering adding dinner trains next year, offering farm-to-table regional cuisine.

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