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Large vehicles coming to Touch-a-Truck event

Kids will be able to get up close to a fire engine, dump truck, ice cream truck and many more vehicles at Jackson’s first annual Touch-A-Truck event.

The Jackson Community Outreach Board is hosting the event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Jackson Civic Center.

Erick Longman, who serves as vice chairman of the board, said the event will include around 15 vehicles from community businesses and organizations.

Fronabarger Concreters, Clark and Sons Excavating, McDowell South RV, Delta Companies, Bent Creek Golf Course, Byron Lang Trucking, Wm. Nobbe, Habitat for Humanity RE-Store and Andy’s Frozen Treats are all providing various “trucks.” Air-Evac is also scheduled to bring a helicopter ambulance to the event.

“They’ve done this out of the goodness of their hearts just to say, ‘Hey, this is a community thing, and we want to be a part of it,’” Longman said.

The Jackson R-2 School District, as well as the local fire, police, utility and streets departments are also bringing large vehicles.

Children will be able to climb into some of the vehicles to get a better look. A host will be at each vehicle to explain how it works.

“Our mission as the Community Outreach Board is to bring people into town,” Longman said. “So ultimately it’s a tourism event, with the hope that people hang around and grab something to eat uptown and just be in town.”
There will be more than just the vehicles at the event. Kebler’s Kitchen will bring their “food bus,” and kids will be able to go through an inflatable obstacle course. Various community organizations will also be at the event, providing information.

“We hope that part grows over time,” Longman said. “That community organizations will see it as a place where they can interact with people and talk more about their services and what they do.”

The outreach board puts together the Cruisin’ Uptown Jackson and Holiday Extravaganza. If this event is successful, Touch-A-Truck will become an annual event for them.

Longman hopes the children who attend “walk out of it with a smile on their face and good memories,” and he is confident people of all ages will have a good time.

“Several people, when they first saw it [on Facebook,] shared it with people who have kids who would like it,” Longman said. “And a dad responded and said, ‘Yeah, my son would love that. Ah heck, who am I kidding, I would love that.’”

The event is free of charge, and sponsored in part by Dr. Todd J. Lumsden.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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