Hundreds Attend Inaugural 'Big Truck Day' at Dexter District Library
Children across Washtenaw County got an up close look at fire trucks, police squad cars, an ambulance, and some heavy loaders on Tuesday.
On a bright and sunny Tuesday morning, the constant honking of horns could be heard in the Dexter District Library's parking lot, a reminder that kids were coming out in large numbers to check out the library's inaugural "Big Truck Day" event.
The parking lot was filled with several vehicles, including Dexter Area Fire Department fire trucks, a Huron Valley Ambulance bus, tractors, and a motor grader from the Washtenaw County Road Commission.
Turnout for the whole event was about 500, estimated Cathy Jurich, the library's youth services program coordinator.
"This is just an awesome event," Jurich said. "The kids see these big trucks going down the street, but here they can talk to the drivers about their job. The kids are having a blast. I'm sure there will be plenty of people going home tonight with dreams of operating one of these vehicles."
Library Director Paul McCann said he was pleased with the participation from local governmental groups, including the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office and the Village of Dexter's Department of Public Works.
"The kids get a huge kick out of climbing on the vehicles, and it's good publicity for everyone involved," he said.
Doug Fuller, chairman of the Washtenaw County Board of County Road Commissioners, said the event was the first time in 10 years the commission spent money to participate in a volunteer outreach program.
"It's all about public outreach," he said. "We've had parents standing in line for 30 minutes or more to allow their kids to sit in the motor grader."
The large tractor costs a whooping $300,000 and is used to help plough roads during the winter, Fuller said.
Cpl. Jeremy Hilobuk of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said he appreciates the opportunity to interact with children and teach them about law enforcement careers.
"A lot of the kids enjoy playing with the siren and pushing all the buttons in the car," he said. "Events like this help us get into the community and allow children to see us in a different light."
Justin Grissom of Dexter said his favorite vehicle was the fire truck.
"It's cool," he said. "My dad's a firefighter."
Mallory Bohl, 6, said her favorite vehicle was the tractor from Wing Farms.
Jurich said the library plans to offer events similar to the Big Truck Day in the future.
For information about upcoming programs at the Dexter District Library, visit www.dexter.lib.mi.us.