At six o’clock yesterday morning, Mary Hansen, who’s 2 and a half, was up and raring to go to the .
More than an hour and a half before the library opened, the parking lot filled with vehicles, among them a Reading fire truck, police cruiser, Public Works wood chipper, snow plow, sidewalk plow, Light Department line truck and a brand-new JRM Hauling garbage truck. And LL Bean’s super-extra-large traveling boot.
“When kids hear ‘Vehicle Day,’ they’re up at the crack of dawn, Mary’s dad, Jeff, told Patch.
The library has held the event for 14 years, according to children’s librarian Rachel Baumgartner, who's coordinated it since it began here, based on an event at the Middleton library. Town departments have always brought their vehicles, according to Baumgartner. Once the guys saw how excited the kids got, she said, they started to bring even more. Now vehicles such as the bootmobile and several antique vehicles owned by DPW employees come, too.
The Johnson boys – Nate, 7; Brayden, 6 and Luke, 4 – love Vehicle Day, their mom, Karen, told Patch as the boys examined the street sweeper up close.
“That’s why we’re up at 7:30,” she said, on a summer weekday morning.
Vehicle day is “a family favorite” for the Grants – Quinn, 6; Cole, 4 and Declan, 2 – according to their mother, Kate, as the boys checked out the sidewalk snow plow. They’ve come every year, she said, since they moved to Reading in 2009.
Dylan Goodwin, 2, took his turn in the garbage truck driver’s seat, with some help from his mother, Melanie.
“He loves trucks,” Melanie said.
The garbage truck was popular because, driver Jimmy Motzkin said, “(Children) see it most.”
People started to line up at 7 a.m. to see the vehicles, according to police Community Service Officer James Collins, standing next to a police cruiser that was open for inspection.
The fire truck parked in its usual space, according to Baumgartner, right in front of the library, so it could head out easily, if needed.
The LL Bean boot was built to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, according to the sign outside the vehicle, “to travel the country and celebrate life outdoors.” The boot, made of fiberglass, built on a Ford F-250 truck, would be a size 747, according to the sign.
Eleni Speros, 11, who came with her brothers, George, 8 and Elias, 4, thought the boot was “pretty cool.”
“I like the library and like to do their stuff,” Eleni said, explaining why she goes to Vehicle Day.
The two-hour show-and-touch traditionally ends with a parade, Baumgartner explained, of all the vehicles.
No sirens, horns or flashing lights were switched on early, out of courtesy for the library’s neighbors – until the parade.
The most popular vehicle?
“I like all of them the most,” said Tommy Joyce, 8, who’ll be a third grader at the in the fall.