Archive for Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Thomas makes trip back to Baldwin

April 23, 2003

It won't be long before Thomas rolls into town again.

For the second year, Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to Midland Railway for Day Out With Thomas.

The popular children's book and public television show character -- complete with his trademark smiley face -- will be at Midland Aug. 1-3 and 8-10.

Tim DeMott, event supervisor, said Midland is bringing the full-size, 17-ton, 25-foot-long replica back because of his popularity with last year's turnout.

"Last year was a great success," DeMott said. "It was a great fundraiser for both Midland and the community and the public enjoyed it."

He said he hoped more local residents would take advantage of the popular event.

"A lot of local people and area residents were unable to ride last year. They weren't able to get tickets," he said. "This year, hopefully they'll know it's coming."

Day Out With Thomas, he said, is geared for children ages 2 to 6 years old. It will feature 25-minute train rides throughout the day with Thomas leading the excursions. There are 12 train rides a day, starting at 9 a.m. and running every 45 minutes.

The Midland depot area and parking lot will also house many other Thomas activities and events, he said, including storytelling, coloring, live music, clowns and temporary tattooing.

Concessions and Thomas merchandise will also be available.

"There are not a lot of activities for the adults," DeMott said, "but the kids are thoroughly going to enjoy it."

Tickets are needed for the train rides only. Other Day Out With Thomas events are open to the public. Tickets are $16 per person, including the handling fee, and will be available starting May 1. They can be ordered by calling (866) 468-7630 or by going online to www.ticketweb.com.

DeMott encouraged those interested in going to Day Out With Thomas to get tickets early.

"We sold out about four weeks before the event last year," he said. "The prime time is Saturday, and we sold out of Saturday tickets almost eight weeks in advance."

He said last year's event attracted people from 23 different states.

Because Thomas was only available for August this year, DeMott said it should be easier for Baldwin people to get tickets.

"We expect it to be a little more localized this year because of the timing," he said.

Several local organizations will be involved in Day Out With Thomas, he said, with everything from parking to selling concessions helping make the event a successful one.

"Once again this year, we plan on great support from the school district and other community groups," he said.

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