Horns blare in rainstorm

Children get up close look at big trucks, buses and derby cars

J&R Schugel trucker Ross Pehling shows Corbin Brand how to pull the horn on an 18-wheeler. The truck was one of 26 vehicles available for kids and their parents to look at and enter.

NEW ULM — As heavy as the rain got Wednesday night, the sound of horns was heavier as Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) held its annual Vehicle Fair.

Children and their parents got to experience 26 vehicles up close, including demo derby cars, buses, and a boom lift. Many of the vehicles were enterable. The Heartland Express bus had its disability entrance open to show kids how it worked.

ECFE Director Betty Uehling said there were some new additions this year, including a flatbed tow truck from K&R Towing and a tanker from Gag Sheet Metal. She said it is common for vehicles to come and go throughout the years.

But the fan favorites were all in attendance.

“Fire truck, ambulance, school bus. Those and the police cars are definitely the favorites,” Uehling said.

Gavin Braulick tries his hand at "driving" an M&R Excavating dump truck. Honking was heard by all who were near the New Ulm Middle School, as kids hit the horn one after another.

While the vehicles were the main attraction, there were other activities as well. The police department had free bike helmets, which were professionally fitted to ensure the best protection for kids. Food staples Jersey’s Sweet Spot and Fred’s Dogs were there, as well as new attendee Mamma Maria’s Rolling Taco Kitchen.

Uehling said the vehicle fair is a unique opportunity for kids to explore a diverse array of cars, trucks, and other things on wheels.

“They can go sit behind the wheel of some of these vehicles,” she said. “That’s not something they get to do [often]. They can get up close and look at the size of the wheels. They can see how tall the booms go up. They don’t have that opportunity every day to sit and look at these.”

Even though the event is kid-oriented, Uehling said it also allows adults to see new vehicles and old acquaintances.

“They also like getting up close to the vehicles,” she said. “It’s always wonderful when the vehicles have a driver, someone from the business, who they can talk to. It’s such a tight-knit community that loves the businesses, they know each other. That’s always fun; the adults are basically seeing their neighbors.”

Uehling said none of it would be possible without the community and businesses rallying together to put the event on. While many of the vehicles supplied come from local businesses, individuals sometimes bring their special pieces from home.

“I’ve had people message me and say ‘Hey, I saw you’re doing a vehicle fair. Can I bring my motorcycle?’ Absolutely,” she said. It’s fun when they reach out and people are doing it personally.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper?

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today