Four- and five-year-old Cole and Kalle Masseo check out the cab of a C2G environmental vac truck. "Touch a Truck" will be held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds on Sunday, April 22. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

New Paltz Rotary will host a family fun day at the Ulster County Fairgrounds off Libertyville Road on Sunday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event will center on various trucks and equipment that are utilized by local emergency service organizations, businesses, fuel operators and more.

“The Rotary is a service organization, and one aspect they’ve traditionally focused on is vocational education,” said Toni Hokanson, former New Paltz town supervisor and the co-chair of this event, along with local landscaper Mark Masseo. “We thought that by bringing all of these trucks, vehicles and equipment out, that the kids would have a great time climbing around them, honking the horns, learning what they’re used for. And the parents or grandparents could talk with the business-owners about what type of work they do.”

In this economy, there has been a great emphasis on vocational education, hands-on work that remains necessary and solvent even as other job opportunities shrink. To that end, some of the organizations/companies that will be allowing kids to experience their trucks are service organizations like the New Paltz Police Department, the New Paltz Rescue Squad and the New Paltz Highway Department, as well as local companies like Tantillo Landscape and Excavation, Dawes Septic, Love Effron Oil Co., Kimlin Propane, Waste Management, Brooks & Brooks Land Surveying, Masseo Landscaping and C2G Environmental, as well as many more.

There is a $5 charge to enter the event, with kids aged 3 and under getting in for free. “We will have bouncy houses available for the kids, as well as other kid activities,” said Hokanson. There will be food vendors on hand as well.

“Our premier sponsor is WRWD Clear Channel Communication,” added Hokanson. Asked what her hope was for the event, she said, “I’m hoping for great weather, and that a great time is had by all!” There is no rain date. ++