June 13th, 2024

‘Big Truck Petting Zoo’ digs up day of fun for crowds

By Justin Sibbet - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 4, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDjsibbet@lethbridgeherald.com

Whether getting their picture taken in an excavator or checking out the controls of a fire truck, thousands of residents visited the Big Truck Petting Zoo this Saturday.
The City of Lethbridge joined forces with the Lethbridge Public Library Crossings Branch, Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services and the Lethbridge Police Service to display an array of unique vehicles.
Coupled with the warm weather, the event saw a significant turnout, with organizers anticipating over 3,000 people. Visitors turned out to walk through city buses, sit in an excavator, check out the LPS bomb-disposal truck and much more.
Emily Lumley, library technician with the Crossings Branch, says the day offers a glimpse into the lives of those who work in the vehicles regularly.
“It’s a great time to recognize the work that gets done in our city every day,” said Lumley. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring everyone together.”
This is the third year in a row the event has been held and the fourth overall. Lumley says this year will also mark the most successful yet.
“Last year we had over 2500 and that was with quite a rainy day. This year (the) weather couldn’t be better,” said Lumley. “Every year I’m always blown away by the turnout and this year is certainly no exception.”
Const. Allison Enkirch with the LPS says it was packed right from the word go, but that is what they had hoped for.
“It has been absolutely insanely busy since 10 a.m. when (the event) started, which is awesome and it has not slowed down at all,” said Enkirch approximately one hour into the event.
Furthermore, she says it also offers a good chance for officers to engage with the community.
“It’s a great opportunity to… get together with the community and kind of let them see what we do and ask a lot of questions.”
Community building was certainly the theme in the eyes of many, including City employee, Collin McInnes.
“It’s good to just showcase all the equipment that the City has and what different roles we play a part in,” said McInnes.
However, he says the primary reason the event was successful was seeing the many smiles on children as they explored the vehicles.
“It’s just fun for the kids and that’s why we’re out here too, I believe. It’s a great family outing and gives them a chance to interact with us as well.”
McInnes is with the City’s forestry and parks department. The department noted how children “are at the window watching us” when they are working, “so now they actually get to come up and see what (everything is)”.
With just his vehicle, McInnes estimates that over 500 people had come by to check it out.
Along with the occupational trucks, visitors were also treated to food trucks and other activities.

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