By Ruben Lowman
It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s a whole ‘lotta cool trucks!
Local children will have their pick of the litter at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex next Saturday, April 9, as the city holds its 4th Annual Touch-A-Truck event, where kids can come and get a unique opportunity that will last a lifetime.
Over 50 vehicles and equipment will be stationed in the parking lot of the complex’s soccer/lacrosse fields, where kids can climb, learn and discover to their hearts content. There will also be many local civic groups and organizations on hand who will be offering unique and fun educational experiences for the children in attendance.
“Families can expect to see a variety of heavy machinery, first responder units and large vehicles,” explained Angel Sylvester, Special Events and Program Director for NMB Parks and Recreation. “The event offers children the ability to get hands-on and explore these larger-than-life vehicles and equipment in a safe and educational environment. We will also offer some fun activities for children like face painting.”
Touch-A-Truck was started in 2017 to provide local children of all ages with the chance to live out some of their coolest dreams and climb aboard fire trucks, law enforcement vehicles, construction equipment, race cars and many other vehicles. The free event has been extremely popular in the past but has been cancelled the last two years because of the pandemic.
It will make its triumphant return to the city’s sports complex next Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sylvester said the city is excited to be bringing the Touch-A-Truck event back to the beach and the local community.
“In the past, we have seen around 3,500 people in attendance and are hoping for just as many this year, if not more!” Sylvester said. “The public is excited to be able to participate in events and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our community together again, after cancelling in 2020 and 2021.”
Sylvester said the event is a great opportunity for children to get a close look at many different career paths in the community, with several industries represented and vehicles that serve a wide array of purposes and operations.
“Each organization participating will have someone at their vehicle to give ‘tours’ to the children and teach them about the items purpose and functionality,” Sylvester explained. “The children will be able to beep horns, blare sirens and interact with the vehicles and equipment as well.”
Children will see a deep lineup of trucks and other vehicles with the event’s return this year. The city’s fleet will be well-represented, with many other businesses and organizations also present.
“The city of North Myrtle Beach will be out in full force, with vehicles and units from NMB Public Safety, the NMB Fire Department, our NMB Facilities and Grounds team, and more,” Sylvester said. “We are excited to also have vehicles coming from multiple local businesses and organizations, including some of the utility companies, for children to interact with.”
The city has also made it a point to be inclusive for all children during the event since it began, highlighted by their “sensory-friendly hour” they hold during the last hour of the event, from 1-2 p.m. Sylvester said this was a priority for the city, as they want to ensure every child has a wonderful and educational experience that they can cherish forever.
“This hour is dedicated to supporting families who have children with autism, special needs and sensory sensitivities. All equipment noise, sirens and horns will be silenced during this last hour to provide these families with an opportunity to learn and explore as well,” explained Sylvester.
For additional information about the 4th Annual Touch-A-Truck event or to inquire about bringing a specialty vehicle, call 843-281-3733 or email Kaitlyn Hobby at email@example.com.