Archive for Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thomas brings miles of smiles to Baldwin City

Scenes like these will abound again in Baldwin City starting Friday as the annual Thomas the Tank Engine event takes place at the Midland Railway. Trains will run all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will be back the following weekend for another three-day run.

Scenes like these will abound again in Baldwin City starting Friday as the annual Thomas the Tank Engine event takes place at the Midland Railway. Trains will run all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will be back the following weekend for another three-day run.

June 4, 2009

“They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight … ”

So goes the theme song for the popular storybook character Thomas the Tank. And if you didn’t know the lyrics, you would after a few minutes at the Baldwin City Depot’s “Day out with Thomas” event that ran last weekend and June 5 to June 7.

Along with singing the Thomas the Tank theme song, children and parents urged the beloved tank to “Push Thomas, Push Thomas,” during the favorite attraction of the event -- riding a 15-ton replica of Thomas the Tank engine on the Midland Railway.

The event, in its eighth year at the Baldwin City depot, also provided children the opportunity to learn more about Thomas and his friends in the Imagination Station, a magic show, temporary tattoo parlor and a gift shop. Adding to the fun was a slide, sno cones and a tour of a Baldwin City fire truck.

But nothing could distract kids from the main attraction, Thomas the Tank.

Allen Craig, a member of the Baldwin City Fire Department, gave tours of a firetruck to kids at the event. But he knows Thomas comes first.

“As soon as Thomas toots his horn, the ground sinks,” said Craig of the rush to the train.

The kids on hand had varying reasons for why they love Thomas so much.

Parker Freed, a 4-year-old from Olathe, liked riding Thomas “because he’s beautiful.”

Tyler Olson, 5, who traveled with his parents from Liberty Hill, Mo., said Thomas was his favorite because of his usefulness and mischievous personality.

“I like him because he’s helpful. … And sometimes he gets into trouble,” Tyler said.

Three-year-old Jacob Draves from Gardner, had a simple reason for his love of Thomas.

“Because he pulls cars,” Jacob said.

But parents also appreciate Thomas the Tank and the message his show portrays to kids.

“It does teach them to work hard and follow through,” said Jacob’s mom, Katie.

Thomas’ positive messages aren’t lost on the kids, either. Jordan Lavin, a 7-year-old from Lawrence, said his favorite thing about Thomas is that he’s a “very useful engine. … He always works together.”

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