Everybody’s Whole Foods in Fairfield rocks one of the most fabulous holiday train displays in Iowa. What began as a modest window display has morphed into a four-tiered, sparkling wonderland that reaches floor to ceiling as nine trains travel through decked-out villages and snow-laden trees.
For years, children and train lovers of all ages have delighted in making an annual pilgrimage to see it. Breathless kids and amazed adults stand at the table, mesmerized by the holiday bustle, and watch the trains as they click-clack around the tracks.
Everybody’s co-owner Paul Praither says they’ve put up the train table for about 18 years, and marvels that kids who grew up watching the trains are now bringing their own kids to see it. Families come to take holiday photos with the trains, and snapshots and videos of the trains abound on social media.
“I’m glad people have made it part of their Christmas tradition to see the trains,” he says, adding he gets comments about it all day long.
Not surprisingly, the train table takes a whole week to set up. Everybody’s staffers start hauling the trains and decorations out of storage around Thanksgiving, and the display stays up until the first or second week of January. Praither says it wouldn’t happen without his trusty helpers, and some have been integral to the success of the display. Ed Peterson and a helper build and maintain the base, Ben Anderson has set it up for the last two years, and Ed Spinella monitors the electric system, keeps the trains runing, and fixes any breakdowns.
Running the trains continuously all day for weeks is hard on them, so an extra nine are kept in storage and changed out throughout the season. Praither says most people’s favorite is the Amtrak. “It’s the one the kids recognize the most.”
Everybody’s Whole Foods is located at 501 N. 2nd St., open 8:30 am to 9:30 pm, Monday through Sunday, except on holidays.