Once again, the Union Depot in Lowertown St. Paul will be a hub for holiday festivities. While this happening could be considered complementary to Minneapolis’ Holidazzle in Loring Park, St. Paul’s celebration offers more old-school charm. Things kick off on Friday, December 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a tree lighting ceremony. American Idol contestant Eric Gordon will serenade crowds, followed by fireworks. Inside, families can enjoy a free screening of Elf. The European Christmas Market runs through the 10th, and features traditional crafts, foods, mulled wine, and handmade gifts. The North Pole Express will also be coming to the Depot during the season, offering kids a chance to enjoy a ride on a vintage steam engine in the company of Santa and his elves. The ever-popular bake sale will offer treats from top Twin Cities bakeries on December 9. Most events are free; train rides and the bake sale require tickets. Find more info at www.uniondepot.org/holiday.