Costumed Touch a Truck downtown

Published 10:20 pm Monday, October 21, 2019

Parents can bring their little goblins and ghouls to the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum downtown for “Touch-A-Truck, Train & Trick-or-Treat” on Saturday.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society’s annual touch-a-truck fundraiser will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the railroad museum, located at 326 N. Main St. This event will be held rain or shine.

Families of children with special needs will be able to bring their children an hour earlier this year, from 10 to 11 a.m.

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“We have found that during the event it is too loud and busy for children with special needs and they can become overwhelmed,” Executive Director Kimberly Blair-Greene wrote in an email. “This year, we wanted to offer the opportunity for these children to come early and have a better experience.”

Children will enjoy food, candy, games, trucks, trains and more at the event, and be able to see and touch some of their favorites. There will be more than 30 registered pieces of equipment, including a crane, the Suffolk Police Command Center, Port Authority Command Center, ambulance, street sweeper, farm equipment and more.

“The list goes on and on, but the highlight is that all of these vehicles are manned and the children can experience what it is like to sit in the driver’s seat.  Also, we provide candy at every vehicle for the children,” Blair-Greene wrote.

Children and parents will also have the opportunity to meet with members of the Suffolk Police Department, Fire and Rescue, Sheriff’s Office, Public Works and other people who protect, serve and build the Suffolk community.

“(They) all go out of their way to educate and accommodate the children and their families, (and) the patience and kindness they display always amazes me,” Blair-Greene wrote. “This is really the example of all the participants. They enjoy interacting with the children and making them feel comfortable with otherwise intimidating equipment.

“What is also neat (is that) when these children are later riding to school or out in their neighborhoods and see any of the vehicles, they can feel confident knowing that they too have been in that driver’s or passenger’s seat and (that) it is safe.”

Last year more than 1,000 people attended the event, not including the 50 volunteers who help make it happen. El Korita will be on site selling street tacos and other items this year, and Hawaiian Sno will be selling shaved ice cones.

“This event is by far the largest fundraiser for the society, and all proceeds go directly into operations of the facility, archival care, research, publications and programming,” Blair-Greene wrote.

Tickets are $5 each or four for $15. Call 539-2781 for more information.