Big Truck Day rolls into Destin

Savannah Chastain
Twenty-eight vehicles were on display at the Destin Community Center’s 12th annual Big Truck Day last Thursday.

Back-hoes, police cars and bucket cranes were just some of the vehicles on-hand for Destin’s 12th annual Big Truck Day at the Community Center.

“It’s not just big trucks, but the name would be too long if we called it unique vehicle day,” said Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator Nick Coleman. “It’s always the last Thursday of our Kid’s camp, a free event for the kids to see our trucks.”

Walking around the parking lot it was easy to see why children anticipate big truck day every year. From local service vehicles to restaurant and business promotional automobiles, every station had a fun aspect for the kids to explore.

On the back-hoe, provided by Hurlburt Air Force Base, two-year-old Tripp Cox could not hide his excitement.

“Scoop tractor!” he kept shouting. “It goes up on a hill.”

Tripp’s mother, Anna Cox told The Log that when she discovered this free event she knew she had to bring her son to check out all the trucks.

“He is obsessed with anything with wheels,” she said. “He has small duplicates at home so this is a dream come true for him.”

  Over by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s vehicles, special four-legged friends were available for meet-and-greet.

Bosse, a miniature Chihuahua sporting a Sheriff’s uniform posed for photos with his owner Renee Gault.

“He’s the only four-legged volunteer at the Sheriff’s Office,” said Gault. “He does school visits for the empowered kids program, and we give out safety trading cards.”

Sitting patiently in the back of a sheriff’s SUV, Forg, a three-year-old K-9 happily allowed kids to pet him while his human partner, Deputy Sterling Eslinger explained his role in the field.

“They live with us, stay with us and come home with us,” Eslinger told a group of onlookers. “They become part of the family.”

After the meet-and-greet the children had a chance to try on the thick arm protector used in training the K-9 unit.

“It was heavy,” said Fisher Kelly after trying on the sleeve.

“I liked it, the dogs were my favorite part,” said Fisher’s sister Addie.

At each vehicle kids were given a demonstration or an informational tour by a working professional, and most gave a small prize such as stickers, pins, Frisbees and coloring pages.

“The kids love it they come out, honk the horns and eat ice cream,” said Coleman. “We are just really blessed to have all of these services partake.”