The lights of the ambulance reflected back onto the chrome of the fire trucks parked nearby.
Children scampered about the College North Shopping Center parking lot, peeking into each of the vehicles.
Some were brave and blew the horns.
Jacob Garcia, 3, had a little help from his mother, who hoisted him up into the driver’s seat of the fire department’s Engine 3.
He grinned as big a smile as the other youngsters who had sat in that seat before him.
This was their day – a day every child dreams about. And that is why Cynthia Blatherwick wanted to have the library bring these big trucks here.
“My thought was that I liked trucks and fire trucks when I was little,” the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library director said. “I think that is something all children have in common.
“It is also a really good way for governmental agencies, nonprofit entities and the school districts to get a little publicity and show you the person behind the wheel — the people who make the city run.”
It was only about an hour into the 3 1/2-hour event and already 30 children had gotten to sit in fire trucks and see what’s like inside a patrol car.
“As you see it is pretty popular,” she said pointing back toward three limousines — one of which was marked with the insignia of the U.S. Air Force.
In the same parking lot, the Bee County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 200 was selling cookies and snow cones.
“We do a lot of community service projects and we are trying to reward the kids by going on a trip,” said Post President Cheyenne Rodriguez.
The group is designed to teach youth about both law enforcement and criminal justice.
“We are teaching teenagers how to be a cops if they are interest in the law enforcement field,” she said.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.