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Kids get up close and personal with vehicles at annual Touch a Truck


A Bloomington Police Department officer talks to Oliver and Isaiah Gough while they experience the front seat of a police car during the annual Touch a Truck event June 10, 2015. Wednesday’s event will feature an array of fire trucks, ambulances, buses, bucket trucks and tractors. Tiantian Zhang

Children will be behind the wheel Wednesday afternoon, and that's exactly the City of Bloomington's plan.

The 19th annual Touch a Truck will feature an variety of fire trucks, ambulances, buses, bucket trucks and tractors for children to interact with.

Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department events coordinator Bill Ream said he thinks the children's responses are the best part of Touch a Truck. He said the event allows children and their families to see trucks they may not see otherwise.

"Touch a Truck gives them an opportunity to get up close with these vehicles," Reamsaid.

It costs $1 per person to go to Touch a Truck, and an additional $1 per person to buy unlimited access to the inflatable monster truck slide. He said previous years have seen as many as 2,000 attendees, with approximately 80% of them being children.

Fire prevention officer Tom Figolah said Touch a Truck is a great way to get firefighters in the community building relationships with kids.  

"We can get them in the driver's seat, and they can pretend they're driving,” Figolah said. “With that attention we can teach them about fire prevention and safety.”

Figolah said fire prevention and safety can be easy for a child to understand. He said Touch a Truck gives parents an opportunity to ask prevention and safety questions.

Ream said events like Touch a Truck are held by parks and recreation departments around the country. Bloomington decided it could be a fun and cheap way to create an interesting event for young children.

Touch a Truck will be held at Winslow sports complex from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

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