Children from across Iowa and from as far away as Florida are trekking to Boone this weekend to ride behind their hero from storybooks and television — Thomas the Tank Engine.
Fenner Stevenson, general manager of the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, says Thomas is hugely popular, comparing the train engine to a rock star for kids. Stevenson says Thomas the Tank Engine will be joined by Sir Topham Hat, magicians, musicians, there’ll be a strawbale maze, a 60-foot inflatable train and a host of other events.
He says they’ve brought in Thomas for several years now and the weekends are incredibly popular, as pre-schoolers especially love the steam engine. “The engine itself looks just like what’s on T-V. It’s Thomas,” he says. “They get on the train and ride behind Thomas out in the country for about a 25-minute ride and then they come back to town.”
He says many departure times are already booked but all is not lost for hopeful young train engineers. While many times are sold out, Stevenson says they’re required to hold back ten-percent of the tickets for walk-ups on the day of the ride.
Thomas will be in Boone today (Saturday) and Sunday, in addition to September 22-24. For more information, surf to “www.scenic-valleyrr.com” or call 866-468-7630.