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Touch-a-Truck event puts kids in the driver's seat

A couple hundred kids had the chance to climb through a variety of big trucks and service vehicles parked at Nashua High School South Saturday during Touch-a-Truck, the city's annual showcase for heavy equipment.

Kids had the chance to sit at the controls of a bulldozer, trolley, bus and fire engine and to lean on every available horn thanks to the Nashua Parks and Recreation Department, which sponsored the popular summer event.

"I liked steering the wheel," said Ryan Fauteux, 5, of Nashua, who looked like a natural in the driver's seat of a city fire engine.

"I like ambulances because (they) help people when they get sick," said Jennifer Flores, 6, who made the trip up from Chelmsford, Mass., with her dad to touch a few trucks.

Touch-a-Truck was originally launched several years ago to raise money for the city's Child Care Advisory Commission. The city now sponsors the event with some help from local businesses that are happy to bring out their big rigs.

On Saturday, Xfinity brought in a bucket truck, the Nashua-to-Boston express came with one of its big commuter buses, Nashua Transit drove in a trolley bus and Conway Arena brought in a Zamboni.

Nashua also showed off plenty of its own big machines to the crowd of kids and parents. The Nashua Police Department brought a command vehicle equipped with computers, surveillance cameras and a microwave and a fridge. The Public Works Department displayed its enormous recycling truck and a shiny bulldozer.

Drivers and city staff were on hand to explain what each of the trucks do.

Over at the police command vehicle, the officer in charge explained that the long, black bus was just like a police station on wheels.

Other city staff and vehicle owners were ready to share details about the trucks, but a lot of the kids were happy just to get inside and sit behind the wheel and let their imaginations fly.

"It's a nice family time," said Bob Dorset of Nashua, who had a pack of kids in tow.

"Maybe some of these kids will grow up to run these trucks."


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