The first “children’s event” (I guess I need to add the disclaimer “with children”) I attended here in Greenville was four years ago. My sister Anna had come into town to help this brand new mom while Roberts was away on business, and we had decided to get out of the house on a Saturday morning to go to the downtown farmer’s market. Every year on the first Saturday in June the City of Greenville puts on Touch-a-Truck at the Saturday Market. This is a great opportunity for kids to get up close and personal with a bunch of trucks and city vehicles, most of which are open for exploring.
|Then and now - Lauris at one month old and the boys this past weekend|
The trick to this free event is to get there early. The market opens at 8:30 am, and that’s when we timed our arrival. By 9:30 the lines to climb into the various trucks and machines had grown, and by 10 the two block stretch of McBee Ave. was crowded.
It took about an hour and a half to check out all the participating vehicles, although we did skip one particularly long line, that for the SC Farm Bureau Federation AG Combine Simulator. The interactive educational unit allows users to harvest virtual row crops in the cab of a real agricultural combine, and I’ve heard it’s very lifelike. This might be on the list for next year, when the boys are just a bit older.
The most educational vehicle might have been the Greenville Water sewer line van, equipped with hoses fitted with cameras that run deep underground to solve blockage problems. The boys liked the army truck better. Possibly associated with the National Guard, it was a large camouflaged troop carrier, similar to the SWAT truck that was equipped to carry 22 people (mostly hanging off the sides). I was more a fan of the fire engine. Good thing the emergency brakes were on when Mikus stepped on the gas…
Most of the participating trucks were City of Greenville vehicles. If I could make a suggestion to the 2015 planning committee, it would be to get a little more variety in; a garbage truck would be a great addition, and I think the boys would really enjoy seeing a cement truck up close. Definitely keep the excavator!
Clambering into, onto, around and on top of almost 20 vehicles really tired the boys out, and they were ready to head home to wake up dad. We stopped in the market to pick up some garlic dill chèvre from Spinning Spider Creamery, and then we were off towards home, both boys talking a mile a minute about all the different trucks they had driven that morning…