NORTH BLOOMFIELD - Brenden Conley's eyes danced along the circular path created by the min-iature train moving through the tiny village.
"Chugga-chugga choo-choo!" the 4-year-old ex-claimed as he mo-tioned for his grandpap, Ron Emrick, to join him at the tracks. "I'm sooo very, very excited!"
Like Brenden, Adelia Gabel, 10, wasn't shy about sharing her plans to ride a "big train" some day.
Brenden Conley, 4, of Farmdale, and his grandpap, Ron Emrick of Kinsman, watch Saturday as model trains circle the track at the North Bloomfield Historical Society.
Tribune Chronicle / Virginia Shank
"It's so neat when you think about it and see how fast they go. It makes you wonder if that's how they really are when you ride them," the North Bloomfield girl said. "I think it's really neat."
Brenden and Adelia were among the children who gathered at the North Bloomfield Historical Society on Saturday for the first holiday display of "Trains in the Town Hall" at the township center.
The trains will continue to run from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 28.
Elizabeth Wildman, the historical society's vice president / secretary, said the goal is to make the train display an annual tradition.
"We're already talking about how to make it bigger next year," she said. "We just love this building and this was a way to open it up to the community for the holidays and invite people in. It's something we can all enjoy."
Wildman explained that the idea was put into motion by historical society President Roger Peterson Jr., who started the display with his own train.
"People started adding to that and bringing more display items we could use," Wildman said. "It came together nicely. It's something the community can look forward to each year."
Amber Conley said she liked being able to share the experience with her son, Brenden, and other family members.
"It really does bring out the kid in all of us," she said. "No matter how old you are you never lose that fascination with the trains. There's just something about them."
Along with the trains, visitors were treated to a variety of refreshments, including various cookies. There was also a scavenger hunt and children's activities.
The Hofstetter sisters, Alexis, 9, and Mia, 7, of North Bloomfield, busied their hands at making colorful paper chains for the Christmas tree.
"There's a lot to do here. There really is. It's like you have the trains, but then get busy doing other things, too," said Mia. "It's been a good day. It's been a really good day."
Her sister, Alexis, made her way back to Brenden's side to help him make some noise along the far way. The two worked at making a hand-made instrument that simulates a train whistle sound off.
"There we go. That did it," Alexis said to Brenden. "It's that sound. It's just like a real train. That's neat."