All aboard for the San Joaquin Valley Toy Train Operators’ 37th annual train show at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, to be held this weekend.
The toy train show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at the Fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway in Turlock. Admission to the family friendly event is $10 for a family of four, or $5 per adult. Children under 12 are free.
There will be over 130 tables filled with train hobby supplies and merchandise from vendors as far away as San Diego, Oregon and Nevada, along with five impressive scale model train displays, including a steam engine train.
President Ed Cathcart says the Toy Train Operators club, based in Turlock, is looking to expand its membership. Currently there are 50 members, most of whom are senior citizens. However, one youth, Austin Jackson, 11, and his mother Annette Jackson praise the train club, not only for its recreational opportunities, but also for its educational opportunities.
“Austin is having fun and he doesn’t even know he’s learning a lot about electricity, circuits, friction, angles, measurements and the vast history encompassed in the displays,” said Annette Jackson. “The guys really have taken him under their wing. They don’t just let him show up and run the trains, they want him to help set up the displays. He loves it.”
Setting up the train show requires hundreds of man-hours. On Monday and Tuesday the club had a crew of 15 people working all day to create an unforgettable train show experience.
Cathcart said there will be $5 and $1 raffles, or attendees can bring two canned food items to donate to the United Samaritans Feed The Hungry campaign.
Parking is free for the show, and food will be available for purchase.