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The 17th Touch-a-Truck and Florida Clown Day is Jan. 28 at Largo Central Park

All sorts of trucks, buses, even a World War II tank will be at the Touch-a-Truck and Florida Clown Day on Saturday. Last year, a monster Ford, above, dwarfed these youngsters.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2011)

All sorts of trucks, buses, even a World War II tank will be at the Touch-a-Truck and Florida Clown Day on Saturday. Last year, a monster Ford, above, dwarfed these youngsters.

LARGO — Michael Gordon, head of Largo's Solid Waste Division, still gets excited when he talks about trucks. Gordon, 48, admits that when it comes to Largo's Touch-a-Truck and Florida Clown Day, he just might be as thrilled as his grandsons, ages 9 and 5. He'll be bringing them to the event on Saturday at Largo Central Park.

"When I was a kid, I used to chase the garbage truck around the neighborhood,'' Gordon said. "But you know, back then there was only one kind of garbage truck, a rear loader."

Now, along with the rear loader, Gordon's work in the Solid Waste Department requires him to supervise drivers of several trucks, including side loaders, front loaders, a roll-off truck and a recycler.

"Picking up waste has diversified over the years,'' Gordon explained.

A sampling of the city waste management's fleet will be sparkling clean with doors open for Touch-a-Truck, which began 17 years ago. Also included will be a World War II tank from the Largo Military Museum, fire trucks, school buses, police cars and motorcycles.

The Bayflite helicopter is scheduled to touch down at 11:15 a.m. And for those yearning to take a spin in a contraption called the Rocketship car, you can purchase a $5 wristband, which includes both a ride in that vehicle and access to a Butterfly Encounter and three bounce houses.

Florida Clown Day will be held in conjunction with Touch-a-Truck. The Uptown Clowns, a troupe with about 100 performers from around the state, will mingle with the crowd.

Piper Castillo can be reached at (727) 445-4163 or pcastillo@tampabay.com.

IF YOU GO

Touch-a-Truck and Florida Clown Day

It's from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive.

Cost: The event, with dozens of vehicles both small and large, is free, however, if kids purchase a $5 wristband they will have access to an inflatable jump house area as well as a ride in the Rocketship Car.

Parking: A free shuttle will run from the lot at Largo High, 410 Missouri Ave., to the event. To park and walk, the Largo Middle parking lot at 155 Eighth Ave. SE, will also be open.

Info: (727) 587-6740, ext. 5014

The 17th Touch-a-Truck and Florida Clown Day is Jan. 28 at Largo Central Park 01/24/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:26pm]
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