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

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.

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