Like the Little Engine that Could, Ashland is a small city that celebrates its annual Train Day in a giant method and has attracted as many as 10,000 folks in previous years, doubling its inhabitants for the day.
There’s good motive for the homage that the parents of Ashland pay to trains, provided that the city’s existence is rooted within the railroad for the reason that Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Company laid the primary tracks to a mill close to the birthplace of statesman Henry Clay. The cottage would quickly grow to be a preferred mineral springs resort and resort and, finally, the charming village of Ashland.
Now in its 18th 12 months, this 12 months’s Train Day on April 30 will likely be one in every of its most fun, with a spectrum of actions and occasions that can have interaction all ages and ranges of curiosity. Toddlers and youngsters will likely be thrilled to hop onboard the kiddie practice rides, and rail followers will likely be fascinated by the mechanics of the locomotives and the engineering marvel that the practice is.
“It’s a joy to showcase our town’s railroad attractions and local businesses with this family-friendly event,” stated Maggie Longest, government director of the Downtown Ashland Association that’s internet hosting the occasion.
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Among the particular options of the pageant would be the show of mannequin trains set in modern layouts, together with one which depicts Ashland, which had been created by 12 golf equipment and organizations. One show that sometimes elicits pleasure is a race of two mannequin trains on parallel tracks, the place youngsters can guess who the winner will likely be, contemplating such elements as the burden every carries.
“Cheers can be heard throughout the day from groups of kids rooting for their favorites,” stated Longest.
The historical past and lore of the railroad will even be delivered to life via displays from the Ashland Museum, the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, and the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad Historical Society, that includes classic objects, comparable to practice tools, lights, bells and lanterns. In addition, storytellers will have interaction visitors with a singalong about trains and the railroad, and households can climb aboard to discover the caboose in entrance of the museum.
Visitors also can tackle the problem of a 16-stop scavenger hunt all through the location. Those who go to at the least 4 areas will obtain a prize, and people who go to all 16 will likely be awarded a particular prize. A favourite cease for guests is the Touch-a-Truck part, with autos together with dump vans and tractors, vintage automobiles, a fireplace truck and an ambulance, whose drivers will likely be on-site to reply any questions.
The pageant will even characteristic a Kid Zone with a bounce home, impediment course, a cornhole sport space, face portray and musical performances by The Singing Conductor. Entertainment will likely be offered by the Hanover Concert Band, and a DJ, who will play dance music that everybody can get pleasure from all through the day.
Adding to the joy of the occasion, 12 totally loaded freight trains and Amtrak passenger trains will move via city on their scheduled routes.
“Trains have enchanted children throughout the years and delight every generation of the family, and this event often elicits grandparents’ and parents’ fond memories,” stated Longest. “Many people feel that they have stepped back in time when they visit our downtown because it is such a quaint setting and, when a train comes through, that sense of nostalgia is enhanced.”
Snacks and light-weight meals will likely be accessible from meals distributors, in addition to native eating places, and people who want to take residence a present or memento of the day may have loads of choices to select from, together with one retailer named “Tiny Tim’s Trains and Toys.” Throughout the day, free buses and trolleys will shuttle visitors from 4 public parking areas to the pageant. Through the generosity of a bunch of neighborhood sponsors, all Train Day actions and reveals are freed from cost.
“We are so happy to share our love of trains with so many families and we’ve created a day full of events that everyone can enjoy,” stated Longest. “The festival will engage train fans of all ages and, we hope, may create new train fans as well!”