Spend the day with Thomas the Tank Engine

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Thousands of people will descend into St. Thomas to spend the day with Thomas the Tank Engine.

The annual Day Out With Thomas will take place at the St. Thomas Elgin Memorial Centre over two weekends, July 15 to 16 and July 21 to 23.

The event, hosted by the Elgin County Railway Museum, will see Thomas come out to St. Thomas to greet and give rides to children and adults of all ages.

“Day Out With Thomas is a great family filled event. There’s lots for families to do together during the event,” said Dawn Miskelly, executive director of the Elgin County Railway Museum.

The day will feature everything from temporary tattoos to bubbles and bouncy castles. There will also be magicians, a ventriloquist, puppet show and interactive music.

But the main event is, of course, the ride on Thomas himself, which lasts about 25 minutes.

“The train ride is the big feature of it,” Miskelly said.

The train ride is the only time sensitive feature of the day. The time that visitors have purchased their ticket for is the time they have to ride the train. The tickets are good to do all the other activities.

Thomas doesn’t travel very far without his friends Sir Toppham Hat, controller of the railway and Toby the Tram Engine.

“There’s photo opportunities with Sir Toppham Hat, as well as photo opportunities with an inflatable Toby, which is new this year,” Miskelly said.

Thomas will be travelling throughout North America on “The Friendship Tour” in 2017. “It’s primarily hosted by tourist railways and heritage railway museums and sites as a fundraising opportunity for them,” Miskelly said.

Miskelly said that most of the children coming out for the day are between the ages of one and six, but there are often older children who have loved Thomas since they were little that love the event as well.

The annual event sees over 18,000 people come out over the five days. Last year was a slower year with only 14,000 people.

“The first Saturday is very full. We’ve got lots of full trains on the first Saturday. But there are plenty of tickets if people are still waiting to purchase tickets for this coming Sunday as well as next Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Miskelly said.

Miskelly said it’s best if visitors purchase their tickets beforehand so they get the time they want, otherwise some tickets will be available at the door.

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What: Day Out With Thomas

Where: St. Thomas Elgin Memorial Centre, 80 Wilson Ave., St. Thomas

When: July 15 to 16 and July 21 to 23

Tickets: $25 each available at www.ticketweb.ca/events/org/16815?pl=dowt2015ecrm

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