18th Annual Train and Toy Show June 23-24 During Railroad Days

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Carl Sandburg College Foundation will host the 18th annual Train and Toy Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24 at the Main Campus in Galesburg, 2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd., as part of Galesburg Railroad Days. The cost to attend the two-day event is $5 per person; children 12 and under are admitted for free.

More than 60 vendors from 10 states are slated to attend the event, which will include more than 200 merchandise tables and several model layouts for people to view. Visitors will also get a chance to see model cars, NASCAR memorabilia and other toys while walking through the event. The show, which was created as a one-time fundraiser andlocated in the gymnasium, now encompasses the majority of the College’s campus. More than 2,000 people attended last year’s event.

The train show was started in 1994 by retired Sandburg instructor Harry Grossman and has raised more than $160,000 through the Carl Sandburg College Foundation for student scholarships. Grossman has been active in the train hobby all his life. He lives in Arizona but returns to Galesburg for six weeks each year to coordinate the show.

“The model train layouts are always a great attraction,” Grossman said. “The detail and time involved in setting up these displays is amazing. Kids and adults both love to watch the trains moving on the tracks and winding through the intricate towns and tiny display depots.”

The toy show, run byvolunteer Barry Wainer of Galesburg, was added to the event seven years ago. In addition to all the toy vendors, Wainer encourages people to see the miniature hay baler that will be on display.

“This is definitely a favorite attraction,” Wainer said. “This vendor encourages kids to step up and help make their own mini hay bale to take home.  He also brings in a rock crusher, and the kids help crush the rocks and are fascinated by how both pieces of equipment work.”