Peoria Touch-a-Truck Event Goes Nautical

Photo by Deneen Ramirez, Pleasant Harbor Events.

The City of Peoria held its 3rd annual “Touch-a-Truck” event at Pleasant Harbor last Saturday, a perennial community crowd-pleaser turning out tons of kids, big and small, and their families to interact with all the BIG TRUCKS! AYC leveraged our partnership with Pleasant Harbor and Maricopa Water District to add a new twist this year; our first-ever “Touch-a-Boat” exhibit!

Although we were well-prepared, there was that nagging question; would kids come to look at sailboats amid a sea of air-horn and siren-equipped gigantic trucks, construction equipment, and even a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) helicopter? That’s some tough competition! Not easily deterred, Mike Parker turned out two boats: an open cockpit Catalina 16 (holds about 30-kids!) and his Viper. Bob Naylor brought his Sunfish and hoisted a colorful lateen sail. And if that wasn’t enough to get the attention of the wee-ones, Paul Liszewski brought his gigantic Hobie 33 “Rolling in the Deep.” That should do it!

So, did anyone wander by to look at sailboats at a truck event? Heck yeah! Paul, Mike, and Bob stayed plenty busy during the 4-hour event speaking with hundreds of kids and parents about AYC, sailboats, and wind! Paul’s Hobie 33 created a great deal of wonder and awe, particularly with the older kids – big, tall, and massive seemed to be a proven formula for this event. For a hands-on “Touch-a-Boat” experience, we had LINES of kids waiting to board the Catalina 16 and Sunfish. They loved pulling, some with all their might, on lines, any lines, and pushing the tiller back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth.

Overall, it was a very successful event. There were tons of smiles, plenty of photo ops with kids sitting in boats, and many discussions about sailing. We even had several very firm commitments that, as soon as potty training or elementary school was completed, a few would be heading our way for sailing lessons! Deneen Ramirez (Pleasant Harbor Events) reports that 6000 people attended: more than double previous attendance records. That was probably as much fun as anyone can have in a sailboat without actually sailing!

We’ll wrap it up with an audiology pro-tip. The noise at the event was incredible; sort of a Dr. Seuss special effects soundtrack with the volume maxed out. (Oh, the noise! Noise, NOISE, NOISE!) As it turns out, when exposed to a constant, loud, nerve-wracking cacophony of air horns and sirens, and some of those kids delighted in really WAILING on those things, normal hearing returns in about two days.