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5 reasons not to miss this real-life Thomas train ride

Thomas the Tank Engine will return to the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad (LM&M Railroad) for two consecutive weekends for a “Day Out with Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017” on Aug. 19-20 and Aug. 25-27.

“We’ve hosted a ‘Day Out with Thomas’ for over 10 years now. It varies between either being our most popular event, or our second-most popular event in line with Christmas,” said Will Gawin, general manager of LM&M Railroad.

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“A Day Out with Thomas” has been a popular event at the LM&M Railroad in Lebanon. This year the event is on consecutive weekends, Aug. 19-20 and Aug. 25-27. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

WHAT TO EXPECT

Presented by Mattel, “Day Out with Thomas: Friendship Tour 2017” will include a 25-minute train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, and an opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway. Thomas the Tank Engine is a full, working replica of a steam engine, which includes a working whistle and an animatronic face that moves and talks when entering and leaving the station.

To celebrate this year’s theme, a “Day Out with Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017” will feature a variety of friendship-inspired activities. Attendees will be able to participate in events that encourage and celebrate friendship including photo opportunities, crafts, a hay maze and other fun activities.

The fun for families and children will continue with a bounce castle, a four-hole mini golf station, train displays, and live entertainment by Marty the Magician as well as musical performances by Zak Morgan. Morgan will perform for three concerts – at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

Also, guests can visit the Thomas & Friends Imagination Station with Thomas-themed activities including stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on art and more.

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A maze is part of the activities at “A Day Out with Thomas” will return to LM&M Railroad in Lebanon for two consecutive weekends, Aug. 19-20 and Aug. 25-27, at LM&M Railroad in Lebanon. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

Annually, about 12,000 to 14,000 people attend the “Day Out with Thomas” events, over the course of two weekends.

“Kids love Thomas. It’s been a very popular children’s television show for decades. The live event gives those kids a chance to see Thomas in real life, and the expressions on their faces when they turn the corner, and Thomas is sitting there, or when Thomas is pulling in or out of the station is priceless,” Gawin said.

In its 22nd year, the Day Out with Thomas tour, will make 42 stops across the United States and Canada. The tour is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2017. For a complete schedule of LM&M Railroad events, or to purchase tickets, go to www.lebanonrr.com.

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