Denison Public Library officials counted more than 530 people at Saturday’s “Touch-A-Truck” event. As one of the weekly events part of the library’s summer reading club, participants were able to leave the two-hour party in the parking lot with a book of their choosing.
Present in the library parking lot were a Denison Fire Rescue truck and ambulance, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, a Denison Police Department police vehicle and a police ATV. A local storm chaser brought a vehicle and the Denison Department of Public Works brought a dump truck. Other equipment included a large excavator and other big construction equipment.
“This year we also added a construction box with sand for the younger children and a piano that the children can step on,” Library Programming Supervisor Joyce Ullah said. “Those have been a big hit today.”
Inside the library, children got to make buttons and visit with McGruff the Crime Dog. They also got to spin the prize wheel, win a prize and choose a free book.
“I think children like to get up close and personal with these trucks,” Ullah said. “It is an excitement that does not go away when you get older and they get to meet law enforcement, firemen and the people that work on our streets and collect the trash. It takes everyone to make a city run.”
Shondra Ivey brought three children ranging in age from a year and seven months to 6 years.
“My brother had to work so we decided to bring out my niece, nephew and my daughter to this event,” she said. “My nephew is really into the big vehicles and my niece is really excited to go get on the fire trucks.”
Aaron Waldron, who brought his seven-year-old son to Saturday’s event, said his son was exited to see the biggest excavator on site Saturday.
“The one that was huge in the back without a doubt was his favorite,” he said. “He is really into trucks. He is 7. I would love to attend more events like this one in the future at the library.”
Lt. Mike Eppler of the Denison Police Department supervised children as they learned about the DPD ATV that was on site.
“We love it when children come up to us and want to get in our vehicle,” he said. “We love it when they want to come up and hug us and talk to us. We want them to treat us like we are people just like anyone else because that is just what we are. We want them to know that we are here for them.”
Eppler also said it is vital for children to be aware of who the public service personnel in their community are.
“We want children to feel comfortable coming up to an officer or firefighter if they need help or if they just want to come up and talk,” he said. “It is important that they feel comfortable and for the adults, it is important to see the police department, the fire department and the other city departments what we do and all the equipment we use. It is just a really good thing. I had one man today say that this event was just as much for the dads as it was for the kids.”
The next summer reading club event will be a Caribbean music and movement show to be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Registration is required. For more information, visit Facebook Page Denison Library Kids or call 903-465-1797.