On down the tracks

September 23, 2018

Children made it rain at North Platte High School on Saturday.

With the help of show host Carlye Reynard, and Thomas the Tank Engine himself, children snapped their fingers, making the sound of rain drops, to help Reynard’s flower grow. The show was part of this weekend’s Rail Days celebration.

“I felt a rain drop,” Reynard told Thomas, a life-size tank engine character who appeared onstage at one of two of Saturday’s shows.

Reynard travels all over the United States with the show, part of Oasis Productions. Reynard, 36, has been performing professionally for 12 years, and with the production company for three, she said.

Reynard loves her job, “especially when there’s a lot of little kids in the audience,” she said.

Kirsten Parker, executive director of the Golden Spike, said that the Thomas the Tank Engine, which had two shows Saturday, was a special treat from the Golden Spike.

“This was our gift to the community,” she said.

This year is the Golden Spike’s 10th anniversary, and Parker said the “free show for everyone” was a great way to celebrate.

Other events filled the weekend’s agenda. Kids participated in an adventure run at Buffalo Bill State Park. Inflatable games, booths, balloon animals and other activities filled Cody Park for a family day. Bus tours departed from there to tour Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard.

A blues and jazz show took place at Prairie Arts Center; “Seussical: The Musical” took place Saturday night. Pals Brewing Co. hosted Beerfest with Nebraska brewers, distilleries and wineries on hand.

Sunday, Rail Days continues with tours of the Golden Spike Tower and train displays at Cody Park, Operation Lifesaver train rides, model train and hobby show, “Seussical: The Musical” matinée and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

“We really wanted to turn it back into a three-day festival,” Parker said. “That was really important to us.”

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