Public Works Day Draws Hundreds to Property Yard

Children climb in heavy equipment and wear hardhats.

After a tough day of frontloading, Harry Lewis and Brody Bailey take a hug break.

After a tough day of frontloading, Harry Lewis and Brody Bailey take a hug break. Photo by Donna Manz.

Every year, during National Public Works Week, the Town of Vienna opens up its property yard on Mill Street to the public. This is no ordinary “open house,” either. The equipment, from ditch diggers to garbage trucks and front loaders and everything a town needs to maintain its infrastructure, is washed clean and spiffy-ed up.

The all-afternoon event on May 23 featured snacks, give-outs that kids like—from blowup balls to hardhats—popcorn, tattooing and the chance to climb into a police car without being hauled off to the police station. Kids look forward to Public Works Day all year.

“I like that my son gets to climb all over the things he loves and read about,” said Vienna mom Alyssa Lehman. “He gets to see the equipment up-close that he sees on the roads. That’s what I appreciate the most. Carter loves this. It’s a community event and it’s nice to see everyone out here … they [Maddie and Carter] see their friends.”

Public Works staff helped the kids into the heavy equipment, letting them turn on the back-up sounds. The animal control vehicle, operated by the Vienna Police Department, had a stuffed dog in the back, and kids got to try their hand snagging a “snake.” Children were welcome to straddle a police motorcycle and sit behind the wheel of a police cruiser. Not everyone visiting the display was a little child. There were some pretty big “kids” looking over the equipment, as well.

As one mom said, the most exciting part for the children is getting to climb into all the vehicles they see and wonder about on the road.