Horns blared, sirens wailed and engines roared as children and adults got an up-close view of trucks, boats, fire engines, police cars and other vehicles during Tons of Transportation at on Saturday. The cities of Richmond Heights and Maplewood hosted the event.
Now in its ninth year, the free event bills itself as a "hands on adventure," allowing kids the opportunity to climb on and explore equipment ranging from a front loader to a fire engine.
David and Jennifer Johnson said their kids have been counting down the days to the event.
"We marked our calendars as soon as it came out," Jennifer Johnson said. "[The kids] love it so much. They climb in and out of the trucks and touch all the buttons they aren't supposed to touch."
Visitors were greeted with a cacophony of sound as children turned on sirens and honked horns of multiple emergency vehicles and city trucks. To the uninformed passerby, it could have resembled the scene of a three-alarm fire or perhaps a construction scene gone awry.
But it was all part of the fun.
"The kids obviously have a great time coming out and having a little fun with vehicles they don't get to see every day," said Mary Henderson, recreation supervisor for Richmond Heights Parks and Recreation Department. "It's just a fun thing and at Parks and Recreation, we are all about fun."
Amongst the fun was also an opportunity to educate kids. Lt. Paul Szydlowski of the highlighted the importance of an event like Tons of Transportation in teaching children the emergency system.
"An event like this is just one more avenue the fire department can use to educate the kids," Szydlowski said.
Szydlowski had no trouble getting kids to stop by.
"The kids gravitate towards the big red fire truck," he said with a smile.