By MORGAN MANNS
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — Rail fans will experience the ride of their lives Saturday during Fostoria’s 16th annual Rail Festival.
The yearly train affair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fostoria Junior/Senior High School, 1001 Park Ave.
“People come from all over to see the trains,” Fostoria Rail Preservation Society Secretary-Treasurer Ellen Gatrell said, noting that around 1,000 people attend every year. “Really it’s (the train companies) who provide rail fans with their entertainment. We are just adding to their enjoyment.”
The gymnasium, hallway and commons area of the school building will be packed with more than 100 tables for more than 50 vendors set up with model train displays and trinkets.
Vendors will include museums, historical societies and model railroaders as well as area and visiting individuals and organizations with antique train memorabilia, clothing, videos, steam-operated items and more.
Outside activities will also be available. Yale Skipworth from Lebanon will offer drones and remote-controlled airplanes.
Gov. Charles Foster will come alive again in Fostoria Area Historical Society President Leonard Skonecki as he escorts visitors through Fostoria, discussing the history of its railroads.
Bus tours, provided by Seneca County Area Transportation, will leave the south entrance of the building every hour beginning at 11 a.m. with the last tour leaving at 3 p.m.
While train connoisseurs will have plenty to spark their interest, the Rail Festival will also offer activities for children.
A children’s station will be set up in the commons area for youngsters to play with toy trains, color and participate in arts and crafts. Romick Railways will provide train rides for children outside the school while a smaller train ride will be inside.
Cost of admittance to the festival is $4 for adults and free for children under the age of 10 with an adult companion. Food will be available inside the school. Parking will be available in the south parking lot.
Proceeds from the event will be used to fund next year’s Rail Festival as well as go toward the Fostoria Rail Park.