By Bruce Boyer
Driving down the highway, the youngsters in the car’s back seat give the universal signal as they travel alongside an 18-wheeler. They want to hear the truck’s horn in the lane next to them. The driver complies, and everyone smiles. There is nothing like a truck horn to spark a child’s imagination on what it is like to be on the open road. On March 25, kids and their families will have the opportunity to honk the horn of an 18-wheeler themselves. The free event is called “Touch-a-Truck, and more.” Coordinated by the Kiwanis Club of Kernersville and American Retirement Counselors, over 25 vehicles will be displayed for kids of all ages to explore.
Semi-trucks are just the beginning. Two Kernersville Police Department cars, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, firetrucks, Harley Davidson motorcycles, a dump truck, and much more will be on hand to transform children of all ages into the fantasy world of transportation. A Novant MedFlight helicopter and an ambulance are two specialty transportation vehicles on display. Having the emergency vehicles on site is contingent on there not being an immediate need for their services during the event.
The Town of Kernersville will have equipment from its extensive fleet of vehicles – street sweeper, sanitation trucks, and the “knuckle boom brush collector” that picks up tree limbs along the side of the road. This is a great opportunity for the public to see the equipment that keeps our community clean.
Some kids would like to avoid the loud noise of truck horns. Free earplugs will be available, and the event layout will have “quiet zones.” Vehicles on display in the quiet zone include a PART bus, YMCA activity bus, catering van, a Camping World RV, and various company service vehicles. The event also showcases some essential community services, such as a library bookmobile and The Crossing Church’s “The Table” food truck, often sent to disaster areas to provide free meals.
Some of the displays will include hands-on educational activities for children. Full Circle Painting, a local painting contractor, will have a painting activity for the kids. Kids can explore a U.S. Army Cargo truck, thanks to Alderman John Barrow, and the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine will also be on hand to capture the imagination of kids.
The Low Price Mart Food Court will offer picnic tables as well as several food vendors: Giada’s wood-fired individual-sized pizzas, Kyle’s Coffee, “sliders” from Twin City Minis, and Kona Ice. In addition, Best Logistics is sponsoring several roving mascots to provide entertainment for the kids as they move between vehicles on display. The High Point Rockers baseball team mascot and Kernersville Fire Rescue mascot, Sparky, will be among the roving entertainers present.
The Kiwanis Club of Kernersville is well known for its emphasis on youth literacy. The first 750 children in attendance will be able to select a free age-appropriate reading book, thanks to the generosity of “Road-to-Reading” sponsors American Retirement Counselors, McDaniel & Company CPA, Maureena Shepherd and Associates, Epes Transport System, and Parks Buick GMC. The storyline of many of the free children’s books will be based on the theme of vehicles, trucks, engineering, transportation, robotics, and math.
The event will be held at the East Campus of John Deere Kernersville (645 North Park Drive), so a featured vehicle on display will be a John Deere excavator assembled in our community. The excavators are an impressive piece of construction equipment.
The 2023 Touch-a-Truck event will be held from 10 AM – 2 PM. Last year’s event attracted over 3,000 people, so an excellent turnout is expected this year. Thanks to the sponsorship of All Around Towing, extended golf carts will transport guests from the parking lot to the vehicle display area. Photo opportunities abound as kids can pose in the driver’s seat of most vehicles.
Touch-a-Truck is a fantastic learning environment that combines a child’s fascination for vehicles with the opportunity to learn about organizations and businesses that keep Kernersville on the road to success. Explore the Kernersville community by attending Touch-a-Truck, Saturday, March 25, from 10 AM – 2 PM.
Visit the “Touch-a-Truck Kernersville” Facebook page for updates, pictures of vehicles, event information, and a map with the layout of the event. The motto of the Kiwanis Club is, “Young Children – Priority One.” Touch-a-Truck is a great event for the entire family.