MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

April 24, 2014

Children can touch trucks, boost library

An event that benefits the Muskogee Public Library is one that features police cars, firetrucks, U.S. Army vehicles, trash trucks and numerous other vehicles will help encourage kids to read.

“We’ll probably have at least 50 vehicles to explore,” said Jan Bryant, head librarian at the Muskogee Public Library.

Touch-a-Truck will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Davis Field and will offer kids the chance to explore a variety of vehicles.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the library’s children’s department. The money is used to buy books to give away, pay presenters of special programs and provide other activities.

Now in it’s fourth year, the annual Touch-a-Truck will be at a new location, but will continue the tradition of offering a variety of trucks and other vehicles for children to explore, Bryant said.

“The event is for kids of all ages,” Bryant said, adding that it is the only kid-focused event related to the Azalea Festival, and the last Azalea Festival event.

The exploration also will include the chance to talk to the drivers, honk horns and sound the sirens on the police and firetrucks.

 Other vehicles expected at the event include a helicopter, airplane, tractor-trailer rigs and motorcycles. Oklahoma State University Medical School is planning to bring a medical bus, and Schneider Freight will travel to Oklahoma to bring a POW-MIA Truck to the event, Bryant said.

In addition to the trucks and vehicles that kids can explore, demonstrations of radio-controlled planes are scheduled, Twiddle Twisters Balloon Sculpting will make balloon animals, and Show It Off Inflatables will have a couple of inflatables for the kids to play on. Hot dogs, soft drinks, water and a few other snack items will be for sale.

But, the entire event is designed to benefit the library. Some of last year’s proceeds were used to buy a special computer which will help improve education skills of school-age students, she said.

“We did so well last year that we were able to stretch our proceeds and do some pretty neat things,” she said. “We try to spend the money very wisely to improve our children’s department.”

Each child who attends Touch-a-Truck will receive something free from the library.

“Every kid that comes can get a brand-new book,” she said.

Funds for the books are provided from proceeds from the event, she said.

Approximately 1,500 attended last year’s event, and “we’re hoping for a minimum of 2,000 people” this year, Bryant said.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding @muskogeephoenix.com.

WHAT: Touch-a-Truck.

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.                                                                                                                                                              

WHERE: Davis Field. U.S. 64 south to Davis Field Road and turn left.

COST: $2 per person.

INFO: Jan or Lori, (918) 682-6657.

ETC.: Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance at the Muskogee Public Library, 801W. Okmulgee Ave., or Muskogee’s Firstar locations, 510 N. Main St., 2215 Chandler Road.

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