Full speed ahead for trucks at Friends Academy

Apr 27, 2019

More than a dozen trucks, diggers, and vehicles of all types and sizes — including a canoe — opened their doors to crowds gathered for the “Touch a Truck” event at Friends Academy on Saturday.

Fueled by cupcakes from the cake decorating station, kids ran around popping bubbles in the sunshine amid the deafening noise of honks, beeps, and sirens.

Aaron Mello, 3, enjoyed honking the horn on the digger. His mother Christine Soares said that he was having a great time.

“It’s a lovely day, first of all,” she said. “And I was surprised to see how many trucks are here. And everyone’s so friendly, too.”

Friends Academy Director of External Programs Charley Pelissier said the event was even better than he’d hoped. “It’s awesome so far,” he said. “There’s a lot of people here...everybody seems happy.”

He estimated that at least a couple hundred people were in attendance.

“We’ve got at least a hundred cars already...and some people have been in and out already,” he noted.

Pelissier said that the event was a way for people to have fun, but also to promote the school’s summer programs, which he runs.

“We’re also doing tours of the school, because a lot of people like to drive by and they don’t know anything about the place,” he added.

“So now they can go and they can see the school and they can talk to people that work here, and find out that we’re actually nice people.”

Jennifer DiPasqua commented: “It’s a great event. It’s beautiful out, and there are lots of trucks to see. My boys love — especially my older one — he loves it. He saw the tractor, the fire truck, the fuel trucks…[it’s] lots of fun.”

Even the professionals letting children climb on their equipment seemed to be having a good time.

Firefighter Andrew Martin with Dartmouth’s Fire District No. 3 said, “It’s great. We’ve had quite a few kids, and it seems like the line is just growing.”

The bright red fire engine was a major attraction, especially as they were handing out red plastic firefighter hats.

“A few have already said they want to be firefighters, which is awesome,” Martin said. “They get to go in the back and check things out, and they have a good time.”

Donna Medeiros was taking her grandson Levi around to see the trucks. “It’s been awesome so far,” she said. “We’re enjoying everything...we’ve been all over.”

Pelissier said that he was initially nervous about the weather. “Every morning I’d get up and check, and like every fifteen minutes throughout the day I was checking,” he admitted.

But the sun came out and clouds were scudding across a bright blue sky.

The horns, however, didn’t quit. “There’s a lot of horns. Lotta horns. Oh my god,” laughed Pelissier. “But you know what, that’s fun.”

And even with all the racket, the day just kept trucking along.