The Champaign Park District‘s Touch a Truck event, an annual highlight for toddlers and preschoolers all over Champaign County, is already upon us.
On Wednesday, May 16, vehicles of all shapes and sizes will occupy the circle drive at Centennial Park by Sholem Aquatic Center. All the old favorites will be there, including a cement truck, a street sweeper, an ambulance, a Harley Davidson motorcycle with a side car, a Champaign Police Department squad car, a Champaign Fire Department truck, a MTD hybrid bus, a Raminator monster truck, a school bus, a NASCAR simulator from Worden Martin, and a flatbed from Reynold’s Towing.
Children ages 2 to 5 are invited to crawl around the vehicles, honk the horns, sit in the driver’s seats, run up and down the flatbed. The people who drive the vehicles on a regular basis will be on hand to answer questions and show the kids around.
In addition to the trucks, there will be free ice cream provided courtesy of Marble Slab Creamery in Savoy; inflatables with a transportation theme; and child-friendly music. Also, kids can get their “driver’s license” photo taken; they will be available for download from the Champaign Park District’s website later in the week.
We asked Tony Oligney-Estill, the Special Events Manager at Champaign Park District, to give us the lowdown on the 12th edition of Touch a Truck.
Chambanamoms.com: Why is this event so popular?
Tony Oligney-Estill: This event is so popular because of a few reasons. First, there are not that many 0-5 programs offered in our community. Second, what kid doesn’t like to play with or on trucks! Finally, it is FREE!!!!
Chambanamoms.com: Any tips for parents bringing their kids for the first time?
Tony Oligney-Estill: It is good to keep in mind that this event is very loud. If your child does not like loud noises, make sure they are prepared for this. Also, there are over 1,000 people at this event during the three hours it goes on. Make sure to keep an eye on your child at all times.
Chambanamoms.com: Is there a most popular vehicle? What is it?
Tony Oligney-Estill: The fire truck always has a long line. Plus kids get a fireman’s hat. Believe it or not, the flatbed tow truck from Reynolds is always busy as kids use it as a slide.
Chambanamoms.com: Is there anything new this year?
Tony Oligney-Estill: We have a stretch limo this year from Star Limousines. That may be more fun for the adults than the kids. We also have a powered parachute and a bucket truck from the Champaign Park District.
What: Touch a Truck
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 16
Where: Centennial Park, by the picnic shelter and Sholem Aquatic Center, Champaign
How much: FREE!
Appropriate for: 2- to 5-year-olds. Be advised that there is a lot of noise at this event.
(In case of inclement weather, the event will be canceled, and there is no rain date.)