Turn up the heat for the annual Fire Truck Festival

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2024


SPENCER — The hottest event of the year returns to the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer this month as the museum hosts the annual Fire Truck Festival on June 22. This family favorite gathering of fire trucks and fire departments from around the region is the largest single-day event of the whole year at the N.C. Transportation Museum. Visitors to the museum in historic Spencer can enjoy the Fire Truck Festival from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The museum, located at what was once Southern Railway’s Spencer Shops facility for maintaining steam locomotives, has a strong connection with firefighting. The Spencer Shops Fire Department was founded in the 1920s to combat any potential fires at the Southern Railway’s shops. The department consisted of three-reel teams of 11 men each, operating 2,000 feet of two-and-a-half-inch fire hose. With many of the Southern Railway employees living in the adjacent towns, the Spencer Shops Fire Department’s firefighters also responded to the calls of the nearby community, lending a hand to the local fire departments, who relied on volunteers and might not be available to fight fires at all hours of the day. 

A large variety of antique and modern-day fire trucks will be on display for photo opportunities. Firefighters will be available to visit with families throughout the day.   

“This is one of our favorite events, largely because the fire departments are so welcoming and willing to talk with families about the important jobs they do,” said Kelly Alexander, executive director of the N.C. Transportation Museum.  

The Fire Truck Festival is sponsored by Atlantic Emergency Solutions, compleatKiDZ, and Norfolk Southern.

“An event like this would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and partners,” Alexander said.

Joining the fun will be the N.C. Forestry, the Charlotte Fire Department Safety Education Team and Atrium Health’s Helicopter & Children’s Specialty Ambulance. Other activities throughout the day will include Discovery Maps for kids, inflatable games, jaws of life demonstrations, a kids firefighter costume contest, operating model train displays and more.  

Train rides will be going on throughout the day at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., and can be combined with festival admission for $18 for adults, $16 for seniors/military, $14 for children 3-12 years of age, and free for members and children under age 3. Festival admission without the train ride is half the cost of combination tickets. Access to regular museum exhibits is also included with every ticket. N.C. sales tax and ticketing fees are additional. Advanced purchase is highly recommended.

The festivities will conclude with the popular fire truck parade starting at 3:30 p.m. 

For more information about the festival, a complete schedule of events and activities, and to purchase tickets, go to www.nctransportationmuseum.org/fire-truck-festival or call the N.C. Transportation Museum at 704-636-2889.