23 FEB, 2011

Calgary, AB

Thomas the Tank Engine™ to visit Heritage Park Historical Village - May 7, 8, 14 & 15

It's "Steamies" versus "Diesels" and our favourite No.1 engine is right on track! Thomas the Tank Engine™ is set to roll into Heritage Park Historical Village for the Day Out With Thomas™: Leader of the Track Tour 2011. All little engineers are invited to cheer him on and take a ride with Thomas. The event, which takes place May 7, 8, 14 & 15, 2011, will be hosted by Heritage Park Historical Village and presented by HIT Entertainment and sponsored by MEGA Brands, a leading toy company.

For 66 years, children have been captivated by the courageous adventures of Thomas and his engine friends. Pulling out of the station for its 16th consecutive ride on the rails, the Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 will visit more than 45 cities in the United States and 3 cities across Canada. Day Out With Thomas is the only place for families to take a ride with a 15-tonne replica of everybody's favourite No. 1 engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, and enjoy Thomas-themed activities at the Imagination Station, including stamps, temporary tattoos and hands-on arts and crafts. Each year the tour grows, traveling to new destinations, adding new activities and welcoming new visitors.

Thomas the Tank Engine, star of Thomas & Friends™, on PBS KIDS® and Sprout® kicks off his Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 in March and is expected to welcome more than one million passengers through November. During the Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011, children will ride with Thomas up steep hills, around deep, blue lakes, and help him win the race against the diesel engines—if only in their imaginations. Day Out with Thomas 2011 activities include:

  • A 20-minute (approximate) ride with Thomas the Tank Engine

  • The opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt™, Controller of the Railway

  • A Thomas & Friends Imagination Station; featuring stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts activities and coloring sheets.

  • Commemorative activities, merchandise and giveaways to celebrate the 2011 Thomas & Friends DVD movie "Day of the Diesels" (Sept. 2011, Lionsgate), including:

    • A video viewing area that shows how steam engines work differently from diesel engines

    • Diesel engine tattoos

    • A special giveaway character wheel showcasing Steamie and Diesel engines from the world of Thomas & Friends

  • Storytelling, video viewing and live music

The tour provides a unique, interactive family experience at every station, offering a variety of entertaining activities that reflect the local flavour of each stop. At Heritage Park Historical Village activities will include: face painting, wagon rides, antique midway, Garden Gauge railway layout and large and small walk through mazes.

The approximately 20-minute train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine will depart every 45 minutes, rain or shine, with departure times at 9:00 am through 4:20 pm daily. Tickets for the Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 are $20 plus GST and service charges for ages two and up.

Tickets are on sale now by calling toll-free 1-888-222-6608 or logging onto www.ticketweb.ca/dowt. For more information and directions contact Heritage Park Historical Village at 403-268-8500 or www.HeritagePark.ca.

For general information or to find a Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 event near you, visit www.thomasandfriends.ca/dowt.

For media use only: For high-resolution downloadable artwork or additional information please go to www.hitnewsonline.com and select Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 Artwork.

About Heritage Park Historical Village
Heritage Park Historical Village is Canada's Largest living history museum, offering guests a total immersion experience in the history of Western Canada beginning from the 1860s all the way to the 1950s. Explore over 180 exhibits, discover more than 50,000 artifacts, enjoy witty and entertaining performances by our lively troupe of performers, and meet fur traders, ranchers, railway workers and the friendly town folk who bring western Canadian history to life. Savour a freshly baked cheese bun or old fashioned rock candy as you ride our authentic steam train, enjoy a relaxing wagon ride or cruise the Glenmore Reservoir on our paddle wheel boat.

Guests can immerse themselves in a recreated 1930s/1940s urban streetscape. The Haskayne Mercantile Block, the 1893 Canadian Pacific Railway Station and the world-class Gasoline Alley Museum–which features an impressive collection of one-of-a-kind vintage vehicles and oil and gas related artifacts–form the Heritage Town Square where you can experience the smells, tastes, sights and sounds of history year-round.

About Thomas & Friends™
Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son over 65 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories and in 30 languages. The #1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends makes tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS®, PBS KIDS SproutSM and with downloadable episodes available through iTunes. For more information about the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, please visit www.thomasandfriends.com.

About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit™, Shaun the Sheep™, Timmy Time™ and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations. HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS SproutSM. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

About MEGA Brands
MEGA Brands is a trusted family of leading global brands in construction toys, games & puzzles, arts & crafts and stationery. They offer engaging creative experiences for children and families through innovative, well-designed, affordable and high-quality products. Visit http://www.megabrands.com for more information.