A photo from the 2017 Children's Festival / Courtesy Debora Brockleman

BUCKHANNON – The Children’s Festival and Truck Fest return to town this weekend.

Director of the Stockert Youth and Community Center Debora Brockleman said this is the fifth year the Truck Fest has been in Buckhannon, but the Children’s Festival is a more than 20-year tradition.

“It’s a win-win, we’re all there together and it’s just a big day where kids and families can come out and enjoy themselves,” Brockleman said.

The Truck Fest revs up Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Public Safety Complex on Florida Street in downtown Buckhannon.

Information coordinator and grant writer for the City of Buckhannon Callie Cronin Sams said the event gives children a chance to see first responder and city vehicles up close.

“The kids can get up actually in the cab of the vehicles and see what it would be like to be in a police car or a fire truck or a school bus, that sort of thing,” Sams said. “Friday evening, it’s all the public safety vehicles and there will be the HealthNet helicopter, as well as the fire trucks and police officers. On Saturday, it will be more of the community service vehicles, the garbage trucks and the Stockert Youth bus will be there.”

The Children’s Festival will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stockert Youth & Community Center. Brockleman said the event is entirely free, but children must remain supervised while they are at the festival.

“A lot of the activities are activities that can be replicated at home that don’t cost a lot of money, and the kids also get some free lunch,” Brockelman said. “We’ve gone from making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water back in the day to now we get pizza donated from a lot of different sources in the community, and we have Zul’s.”

The various activities will take place indoors and outdoors and include face painting, making stress balls out of balloons and water beads, rock painting, painting little wooden animals and a climbing wall.

“We’re also doing a project where the kids can go and paint something on the fence like a handprint — that’s going to be awesome,” Brockleman said.

When people come to the event, a table will be set up outside to the left of the entrance of SYCC; people can sign in there get their tickets for pizza, Zul’s and door prizes.

“We have a lot of door prizes, and we’re going to allow people this year to choose which door prize they want and after that, we’re going to take all the tickets back and put them into one big drawing because we have some really awesome big prizes,” Brockelman said. “We have one of those little no-pedal bikes, we’re giving away a playhouse that I have been putting together along with a couple volunteers. I’m still working on it, but it’s a really awesome playhouse and also a Bluetooth speaker.”

The field to the left of the Stockert Youth and Community Center is owned by the 88 Restaurant & Lounge, but Brockleman said the restaurant and hotel has loaned it to SYCC for the event.

“We have a couple bounce houses, a bounce obstacle course and even a bounce bowling game, which should be really fun,” Brockelman said. “We’ll also have some other activities going on out back.”

She said she also wanted to thank the Elks Lodge because this is the second year SYCC has received a grant from the group to help with backpacks, snacks and pay for karaoke. Performances by the Stockert Youth Drill Team and the West Virginia Wesleyan College Dance Team are also scheduled.