Big Truck Day is a big hit with kids

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Whether kids were climbing on a big John Deere front-end loader or hopping in the seat of Destin Fire Ladder Truck No. 9, they all walked away with big smiles at the annual Big Truck Day held in the Destin Community Center parking lot. 

More than 100 adults and children came out Friday morning for the annual event that had boats, a fire truck, school bus and heavy equipment for the children to climb on and experience. There was also a bounce house, ice cream truck, free snow cones and AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar signature Cotton Candy flavored gelato. 

Girls run around the front of a Destin Fire Control District truck after touring its cabin during Big Truck Day at the Destin Community Center.

Miss Destin Ella Kathryn Campbell was also there to help hand out stuffed animals to all the children. 

But the big hit of the day was the big trucks and boats. 

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“The sheriff’s boat was my favorite,” said 6-year-old Connor Smith. “It has so much cool stuff and it can go fast.”

Lincoln Kennedy, 3, had a big time aboard the John Deere skid steer equipment at Big Truck Day at the Destin Community Center.

The sheriff’s boat Smith was referring to is actually called a “safe boat,” according to Matt Lecocq of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. 

Lecocq said the boat is used for “anything and everything” and can handle rough waters. 

Three-year-old Lincoln Kennedy was fascinated by the John Deere equipment that Destin Water Users had on display. 

A group of kids take delight in watching colored balls get sucked into a a stormwater drain cleaner during Big Truck Day at the Destin Community Center.

“He’s obsessed with this kind of stuff,” said Ryan, Lincoln’s dad. 

Ryan said he picked his son up from daycare and brought him to Big Truck Day just so he could experience it. 

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Lincoln climbed right up on the tractor and even called it out by name, a Skid Steer. 

For 6-year-old Oliver Montalto, he was a big fan of the bouncy house, fire truck and the snow cones. 

A girl wears a souvenir hard hat and fire helmet at the same time as she enjoys a shaved ice cone during Big Truck Day at the Destin Community Center.

“I liked the fire truck because it’s got cool stuff,” Montalto said as he worked on his snow cone. 

Capt. Bobby Flynn, who was there with Ladder Truck No. 9, said “we love doing this every year.” 

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The firemen handed out fire hats to the children. 

“The kids love the hats … and they love just walking through the truck,” Flynn said. 

John Robert Slater, 4, said he liked the big yellow school bus. 

An Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office marine unit draws a great deal of attention during Big Truck Day at the Destin Community Center.

Melissa Feck, who has been driving a school bus in Okaloosa County for 23 years, was there to give the children a chance to come aboard the bus. 

“Some are kind of scared at first,” Feck said. 

But once they come aboard, “they are fascinated by the big seats,” she said. 

Kids are reflected in a polished door panel in a Destin Fire Control District truck during Big Truck Day at the Destin Community Center.

Plus, she said it’s good to give the younger ones a chance to see what it’s like before they have to board for school.