DERRY — It was a journey of a lifetime for young explorers hoping to find that perfect holiday prize while visiting a famed frosty land.

Children hopped on the "Polar Express" last week during Taylor Library's popular annual story hour, giving young library patrons a chance to hear stories, ride a special train and meet Santa Claus himself.

The library hosts three imaginary trips to the North Pole every year, often with a long list of children hoping to grab a ride.

The popular holiday event is based on the "Polar Express" book by Chris Van Allsburg, telling the tale of a young boy taking a snowy journey to meet Santa Claus.

The library has hosted the popular story times for more than 15 years, and every year it draws a crowd as staff transforms the small East Derry library space into a winter wonderland, complete with holiday cookies and cocoa.

Children arrived in their pajamas and received a special bell, as they got ready for the trip to the North Pole. The young library patrons then climb aboard the train and hear stories while awaiting Santa's arrival, who then takes time to listen to each child's wishes for Christmas.

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