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At Third Thursday Kids Get Behind the Wheel of Heavy-duty Vehicles

August 19, 2016 GMT

PITTSFIELD >> Hundreds of wide-eyed boys and girls plunked themselves behind the wheel of a police Humvee, fire truck, giant airport snowblower and 13 other heavy duty vehicles parked on North Street for Third Thursday.

The monthly block party’s debut of “Touch A Truck” was a big hit with the youngsters, many barely tall enough to climb into some of the monster road machines lined up on the north end of the pedestrian-friendly street festival.

Many of the future motorists found the horn most fascinating with almost continuous honking during the three-hour event that’s held every month from May through September.

“I love it, beep,beep,” said soon-to-be 5-year-old Seth Laprade of Pittsfield as he sat in one of Pittsfield’s newest dump truck/snowplow vehicles.

The Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office Humvee had a horn like no other to 9-year-old Brendon Layman passing through on a two-week Northeast road trip with his family.

“The horn sounded kind of funny,” noted the Pittsburgh boy.

Winter vehicles seemed all the rage with two large snowblowers on hand; one for clearing snow-clogged highways, the other used on the runways at Pittsfield Municipal Airport. Airport machine in the off-season is a John Deer payloader, the bucket replaced with the snowblower attachment when the white stuff begins to fly.

Eight-year-old Alex Isenhart from Pittsfield sat tall in the saddle when he climbed aboard the winter assault vehicle.

“I liked the height because I like roller coasters,” said the Conte Community School student.

Sitting in the airport snow removal machine, young Nora Tierney realized she was a few years away from driving any road-ready four-wheeled vehicle.

“I can’t drive,” she said. “I can’t get [to] the pedals.”

Noah Meiri let his aunt, Barb Novak, do the talking for him as he sat in Dalton’s biggest fire truck with the 110-foot ladder fully extended into the air.

“He loves fire tucks — he loves all trucks,” she said.

For the older kids, Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Lucier had an XBox 360 and sound system in the back of the van set up for Call of Duty. The local Air Force recruiter handed out cool shades, getting in an occasional plug for the military as a career.

One vehicle people look to avoid, was the favorite of Megan Sullivan-Catlin visiting from Potsdam, N.Y.

“I like the ambulance because you can get in the back seat with other people,” she said.

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-62333