Touch-A-Truck Event a Hit with State College Children
June 29, 2013 4:22 PM
by Drew Balis
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Horns honked and lights flashed for three straight hours.

Wide-eyed children went from vehicle to vehicle exploring the ninth annual Touch-A-Truck event held at the State College High School driver training lot. 

"I really liked the tow truck," says 8-year old Nicholas Sloff. "The guy let me turn on the lights. That was really cool."

"My favorite thing was the big school bus," says 3-year old Oliver Kennea. "I got to sit in the driver's seat and honk the horn."

Wesley Ray enjoyed exploring Walmart's 18 Wheeler truck. "It was huge," says Ray. "And I got candy after."

Sponsored by Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. and made possible by Centre Region Parks and Recreation, the free Touch-A-Truck event gives children an opportunity to climb in and explore different trucks with their parents.

It is open to children of all ages, and while most of the kids won't be driving for at least a decade, they could still pretend. 

Beth Lee, a recreation supervisor at Centre Region Parks and Recreation says she and her team work every year to grow the display by reaching out to local businesses.

Lee expected 400-500 children would participate in the free event that ran Saturday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"It's always been successful for us, and we've always had great weather, Lee says. "We want to keep that going today."

In addition to Walmart and a few school buses, some local businesses including Centre Life Link, Walk's Towing, and CATA also brought vehicles.

A large firetruck that lifted passengers up in the air drew a big line, but the CATA buses seemed especially popular among children.

"I think the kids see the buses all the time and get fascinated, but they never really get to sit in a driver's seat or honk a horn. That's really fun for them," says Lee.

Most volunteer companies that showed up also brought construction hats, snacks, or something else to give to children when they stopped by their truck.

"This wouldn't be possible without the generosity of all these local volunteers and vendors. We're really thankful for them," Lee says.

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