FROM STAFF REPORTS
BURNET — Once upon a time, the town of Burnet became home to a “very useful engine.” But this is no fairy tale because on Sept. 27-28, it comes true.
A Day Out with Thomas returns to the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St., for kids of all ages. For those of you without a young child bouncing around the house, Thomas refers to Thomas the Tank Engine, which started as a story by the Rev. Wilbert Awdry for his son, Christopher, who was bedridden with the measles. This was in 1943, before the time of TV and iPads, when storytelling not only served as entertainment but as a way parents and children bonded.
Awdry’s wife convinced the reverend to write down the stories, which eventually became the book “The Three Railway Engines.” The name Thomas came about when Awdry made his son a wooden toy engine, which they named Thomas.
Now, about 70 years later, Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends continue to entertain children. The books have launched TV shows and movies.
A Day Out With Thomas lets children, parents and grandparents set foot on the Isle and Sodor and have their own adventure. The day includes 15- to 20-minute rides on the visiting Thomas the Tank Engine. The first ride starts at 8:30 a.m. with the last one leaving at 5:40 p.m. both days.
Several of Thomas’ friends will be on hand to celebrate the day, which also includes numerous other activities, games and entertainment. Plus, there will be the Depot, where you can load up on Thomas toys, merchandise and other goodies.
The Austin Steam Train Association sponsors the event. Go to www.austinsteamtrain.org for more information or to purchase tickets.