The Wheeling-Ohio County Airport is hosting two upcoming events, and the first of them happens Saturday.
The Holy Family Child Care and Development Center is partnering with the Ohio County Commission to present a “Touch a Truck Event,” where children and all motor enthusiasts will get the opportunity to see up close a wide range of large vehicles – including a semi-truck, a helicopter and emergency vehicles.
The event happens from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the airport.
Then on Sept. 24, the Ohio County Commission is sponsoring a “Wings Over Wheeling” vintage aircraft and vehicle event, and aircraft from World War II and the Vietnam War will be on display. Gates at the airport will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.
Both events are free to the community.
Terra Crews, executive director at the Holy Family Child Care and Development Center, said the school had organized similar “Touch The Truck” event gatherings in the past.
“When I took over in January, I thought what a great event. We need to bring that back,” Crews said. “We wanted to bring in the community and bring them to the airport. A lot of people don’t know you can visit the airport, and it’s a wonderful place.”
“Touch a Truck” serves as a fundraiser for the Holy Family Child Care Center, which will be serving concessions during the event.
There will be a semi-truck on site, as well as a helicopter, a fire truck, a law enforcement cruiser and Ohio County Sheriff’s Department deputies, Crews said. There will also be bounce houses and games.
Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration will provide a giant sand box for the children, and the Valley Avengers superheroes group have been invited.
It is expected Spiderman will be driving the character bus to the event, according to Crews.
“This is geared toward anyone who loves vehicles,” she continued. “I know we have kids who play with dump trucks. This is a way for them to get to see them in real-life size.”
She credits County Administrator Randy Russell as being “very instrumental” in making the “Touch the Truck” event happen.
Russell, meanwhile, has been busy planning the “Wings Over Wheeling” festivities.
Among the aircraft coming to the airport is a World War II C-47 “Whiskey 7” cargo plant, and a C-123 K Provider “Thunder Pig” that flew during the Vietnam War. There will also be vintage cars and trucks on site, as well as food vendors.
Last year, county commissioners sponsored a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the airport, and Russell said as many as 500 attended events throughout the afternoon.
“We would love to do more events on a regular basis,” he said. “The idea is to involve the local community in the airport.”