Thomas toots back to town
Starting Friday Baldwin City will be the place to be for children as Thomas the Tank Engine rolls into town for its fourth straight year.
This year is even more special because Thomas is celebrating his 60th anniversary. This and the proximity to the Independence Day celebration has caused some problems. But, Tim DeMott, event supervisor, said they will be ready.
"We're always ready," DeMott said. "It's always a last-minute push. We've got some issues with the Fourth of July being so close. We are behind schedule on some things, but we'll be ready."
DeMott said Midland Railway is always happy to have Thomas return to Baldwin City.
"We're always glad to have Thomas back," DeMott said. "It's a great fundraiser both for Midland and the community. We couldn't do it without Baldwin City."
The Day Out With Thomas 2005: The Celebration Tour lasts Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week, but then it returns July 15-17. The first train leaves at 9 a.m. every day and the depot grounds will be open around 8 a.m.
The trains depart every 45 minutes and the last train leaves at 3:25 p.m. The grounds will close once the public has left after the final train of the day.
DeMott said it is a little difficult to end one day and begin preparing for the next.
"Every day presents its own challenges," DeMott said. "Of course the setup prior to the event is the most time consuming. But, depending on the weather and what needs to be done to make the day run smoothly, there is work to be done."
There will be free parking at Baldwin High School to keep the depot from becoming congested. There will also be a free shuttle at BHS.
DeMott said all the hard work pays off when the children show up each year.
"It's definitely a treat to watch the kids and the enjoyment of the public that comes out," DeMott said. "It is worth while to bring back from the financial and the satisfaction point of view."