Yukon children get ‘close’ with 28 vehicles

Summer Friday Fun Days’ series kicks off with ‘Touch A Truck’

Leandro DeLeon, 14 months, is held by Canadian County Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Peters in front of the sheriff's office's MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected) tactical vehicle. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Hundreds of Yukon children converged on Chisholm Trail Park’s Oklahoma parking lot to check out 28 vehicles in what has become a summer kick-off tradition.

Yukon Parks & Recreation ushered in its annual Friday Fun Days’ series June 2 with the always well-attended “Touch A Truck” at the park, 500 W Vandament.

Programs are offered each Friday morning throughout the summer for local youth to enjoy.

For last Friday’s Touch A Truck, children had the chance to get “up close and personal” with a wide variety of motorized vehicles and equipment.

Nick Rice, YPR’s special operations supervisor for special events, was well pleased with the turnout for this popular special event.

“We have some cool ones out here this year, including a new addition – the Flowers Farm bus,” Rice said. “This kicks off our entire Friday Fun Day series. Touch A Truck started about 20 years ago and it has grown.

“It is one of the most popular Fun Friday programs because it’s the start of the summer. People are excited to get out of school and are looking for something to do with their kids.”

Local summer youth camps and day cares attended alongside other children, their parents and grandparents.

The featured activity was a demonstration by Yukon firefighters using the Jaws of Life hydraulic tools to show how they rescue someone trapped inside a wrecked vehicle.

Battalion Chief Caleb McDoulett offered step-by-step narration as the damaged car was turned into a “convertible.”

Cory Heckle, 4, takes the wheel as he sits in the cab of a large John Deere tractor. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Yukon firefighters demonstrate how they use the Jaws of Life hydraulic tool to rescue people trapped inside a wrecked vehicle. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Joel Gilles, 6, honks the horn of this A-Z Towing wrecker under the watchful eye of driver Juan Becerra. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


Other highlights included:

  • Pilot Jim Gardner with the Bob Mills SkyNews 9 helicopter, a single-engine Bell 407 chopper.
  • Yukon Veterans Museum volunteers with their mobile trailer.
  • Canadian County Sheriff’s Office personnel with their MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected) tactical vehicle.
  • Storm chaser Michael Armstrong with the Channel 5 Storm Team’s First Alert command vehicle.

The City of Yukon had the largest contingent of vehicles among Touch A Truck participants – sanitation truck, John Deere tractor, backhoe, dump truck, and sewer pipe flushing truck.

“This introduces kids to the trades,” Rice said.

Friday’s Touch A Truck also showcased: The Canadian County Health Department’s mobile response unit, the Yukon Fire Department’s ladder truck and rescue one, a Pafford EMS ambulance, A-Z Towing tow truck, OG&E bucket truck, Yukon school activity bus, Yukon Police sport utility vehicle, Mercedes Sprinter limousine van, race car, semi-truck, Flower Farms Garden Center bus, Army Jeep, and more.

Yukon police officers gave the kids badge stickers while Yukon firefighters handed out red plastic helmets.

YPR officials present Touch A Truck annually at Chisholm Trail Park because of the copious quantity of available parking at both ends of the venue.

Yukon firefighter Brandon Jeter shows Harper Nicholas, 4, how the fire department uses air bags for emergency lifts up to 25.6 tons. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Four-year-old Asher visits with Channel 5 storm chaser Michael Armstrong. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


Yukon youth are encouraged to participate in these other YPR Friday Fun Days this summer:

  • June 9 – Turtle Race at Mulvey Pond
  • June 16 – Fishing Derby at Muley Pond
  • June 23 – Disc Golf at Welch Park
  • July 14 – Extreme Animals at Yukon Community Center
  • July 21 – Scavenger Hunt at Chisholm Trail Park
  • July 28 – Glow Party at Yukon Community Center
  • Aug. 4 – Water Wars at Jackie Cooper Gym

Each program starts at 10 a.m. except for the Fishing Derby, set for 8 a.m. that Friday.

For more information, call (405) 350-8937 or click the “Parks & Recreation” department link on the City of Yukon’s website.

Pilot Jim Gardner poses for photos in front of the Bob Mills SkyNews 9 helicopter, a Bell 407 single engine chopper. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
The Bob Mills SkyNews 9 helicopter, piloted by Jim Gardner, is the center of attention as it lifts off from the Chisholm Trail Park’s Oklahoma parking lot. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)