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Showers no roadblock to wheel-y big fun at Touch-A-Truck

A bit of rain Saturday didn't dampen the enthusiasm of children and their parents for a tradition of Westport's spring -- the annual Touch-A-Truck fundraiser rolled out by the Westport Weston Cooperative Nursery School.

The event showcasing all kinds of vehicles -- in different sizes, shapes, colors and wheel configurations -- took place at Coleytown Elementary School, and the proceeds benefited the nursery school's scholarship programs, according Pat Rackliffe, the school director. She and her staff were on hand to coordinate activities.

Rackliffe said there had been a concern about inclement weather -- a combination of drizzle, gray skies and chilly temperatures -- how it might affect attendance. "The weather is a challenge every year, but we have to lock into this last weekend of March every year because of the start of sports across town," she said. "Despite the rain today, we're still getting a great turnout. People have cabin fever and are ready to get out."

About 80 businesses participated in the event, with a wide range of eye-popping vehicles. Notable vehicles included the Fun Bus school bus, Westport fire and police trucks, an Adams Refuse truck, an Army supply truck, a striped concrete mixer, mobile cranes and a moving truck.

Adding to the fun was a crafts activities provided by sponsors Melissa & Doug, a Thomas Train transporting passengers around the lot, the Kidville Band performing music and Naples Pizza serving up slices from its truck with built-in brick oven.

It was hard to say who was having more fun -- the children or their parents -- as they moved from one vehicle to another around the lot. They took turns behind the wheel, activated sirens and horns (after the initial "quiet" hour to let neighbors sleep), gaped at oversized wheels and clambered inside and outside the vehicles.

Representatives provided information about each vehicle's function and capabilities. The event was both fun for visitors and a chance for businesses to promotes their services. And for the Westport's fire and police departments, the event served as community outreach to people of all ages.

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