CENTRAL — The eighth annual Central Railroad Festival went off without a hitch on Saturday, much to the delight of families, kids and train enthusiasts everywhere.
Sunny skies and gentle breezes greeted out-of-town visitors and locals alike as hundreds wandered up and down Main Street to check out the vendors, grab a bite to eat or just kick back and listen to some great music.
Over 25 vendors set up tents and booths offering everything from local honey to face painting and of course, there were trains as far as the eye could see — including the especially well-timed passing of the Norfolk Southern as it blared its horn and chugged through town.
The Central Railway Model and Historical Association was on hand with an intricate display layout as well as some more “kid friendly” ones where children could be the engineer and control the train’s speed with remotes. Wooden railways on small tables provided a more hands on experience for little ones.
Bouncy castles and slides were on hand to entertain the more energetic youngsters and a small gas-powered train circled the festival, pulling boxcars full of waving kids and families.
“Festival packs” were sold containing a blue striped engineer’s hat, bandana and wooden train whistle.
“You make sure to practice blowing that whistle every day,” said the engineer of the train ride as he loaded a family with a wide-eyed little boy aboard.
“Especially first thing in the morning,” he winked.
Prior to the festival was the Keep it Movin’ 5K race benefiting the walk-run program of Central Elementary School which now boasts over 250 students active in the program.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.