Excavators, tractors, diggers, fire engines and other larger vehicles are rolling into town on Sunday, Sept. 30, for Opus' 10th annual "Big Rig Gig," a hands-on experience and fundraising event for the whole family.
The Big Rig Gig will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Darien Town Hall lower parking lot, 2 Renshaw Road. In the event of rain, the event will be inside the Darien Town Hall gym.
Children of all ages will be allowed to get up close and personal with more than 20 trucks, ranging from traditional construction and rescue vehicles to a one-of-a-kind monster truck. This year's event features a brand-new carousel, children's petting zoo from the Beardsley Zoo, the Roaming Railroad, musical entertainment by the Bossy Frog Band, bouncy castles and food.
Those who purchase their tickets in advance will save $10 per family, and the first 150 families who purchase tickets before the event will receive limited-edition Big Rig Gig reusable tote bags. Admission is $30 in advance and $40 at the door per family.
Parents also can win items from the on-site raffle and silent auction, such as a children's bicycle from Pedal & Pump, Jet Blue airline tickets, a gift card for classes at Green Moon, themed birthday packages from Darien Playhouse and Darien Nature Center, and a fitness package from Equinox Gym. Lunch and snacks provided by Uncle's Deli, Palmer's Market and Planet Pizza will be available for purchase, as well as T-shirts, hard hats and balloons.
A new addition to th event will be the Black Widow monster truck, which stands 11 feet tall, 19 feet long, more than 12 feet wide and weighs 9,600 pounds. Returning is the interactive "Truck Track" game in which children will embark on a scavenger hunt and follow a "Truck Track" throughout the event in search of five designated vehicles. A map of the "Truck Track" will be distributed upon entry at the event. Children who receive all five stamps will receive a fun prize.
"We are thrilled to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of this dynamic community event," Sarah Konecke, Opus for Person-to-Person co-president, said in a release. "Opus volunteers have worked tirelessly to make this year's Big Rig Gig a fresh and exciting event for families to enjoy, while raising critical funds for Person-to-Person at the same time."
Ring's End Lumber has signed on for the fourth consecutive year as the lead sponsor.
A critical initiative for Opus is to help raise money for the Person-to-Person Emergency Food Pantry, which is under-stocked. Over the summer, Person-to-Person provided families who qualify for the elementary school free lunch program with groceries from the pantry.
Residents can help restock the pantry, which fed more than 13,000 people in 2011, through a pledge to feed a family by purchasing groceries for a specified period of time. Grocery bag donations may be made onsite at the Big Rig Gig or online by visiting www.opus4p2p.org. Donation options are $20 to buy one bag of groceries, $45 to feed a family for a day, $100 for a week and $400 for a month.
For tickets or information, visit twww.opus4p2p.org/brg.