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Weekender: Model Trains on Display in Seasonal Show

A traditional holiday toy is back in the spotlight this weekend.

For many parents this weekend is the kickoff of their holiday shopping.  In addition, end-of-year deadlines are approaching, out-of-town family and friends are arriving, and, well…this weekend means that things are about to get crazy. One more family outing before the madness of the holidays begins would be ideal.

On Friday, the Bergen County Model Railroad Club (BCMRRC) presents their at the United Methodist Church in Midland Park. The two non-profit associations serve as co-sponsors of the event.

“We believe that toy trains have a long-standing holiday connection, particularly with the Thanksgiving-Christmas season,” George Campbell, secretary for the BCMRRC, told Patch. “Many people, from great-grandparents to young children, identify with the ‘train set around the tree.’”

The show includes three separate, 40-foot-long exhibits. Two of the layouts are built from scratch for each show, and include six to seven simultaneously running modern and historic models, including Thomas & Friends and Lionel trains, plus trollies, subways, steam engines, diesels and electrics. The other layout is dubbed the “hi rail” because of its strict adherence to the “O” scale. It is 13 feet wide and has five trains operating simultaneously. All the layouts are elaborately decorated with winter themes, and young children especially will get a kick out of operating the buttons which make the trolleys run and the gatemen come out of their houses.

“People of all ages identify with [toy trains as a symbol of the holidays], and we see it reflected in our show attendees,” Campbell said. “Interestingly, we see more and more women and their daughters attending the shows, despite [the fact that trains] have historically been considered a boy's hobby—we are delighted with this development.”

Other events to check out this weekend include:

Where/When: Abma’s Farm Market & Nursery, 700 Lawlins Road, Wycoff, Sat. Nov. 26, 10 a.m.

Why: Design and build your own wreath and holiday decorations.

How much: $10

Where/When, Bergen PAC, 30 N Van Brunt St, Englewood, Sun. Nov. 27, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Why: Witness the spectacular feats of this group of acrobats, jugglers and tumblers.

How much: $15-$49

Where/When: l, 305 Elm Street, Oradell, Sat. Nov. 26, 9 a.m.

Why go: Kids get photos with Santa without having to wait in long lines at the mall, plus enjoy a buffet, face painting, music and dancing.

How much: $5

10th Annual Parade

Where/When: Mount Pleasant Avenue and Azalea Drive, Wallington, Sat. Nov. 26, 6 p.m.

Why go: Fire, EMS and Rescue squads from around Bergen County, as well as the Bergen County Sherriff’s Department, will participate in the parade, which benefits Toys for Tots.

Price: Free

Where/When: , 650 Glen Ave, Ridgewood, Sat. Nov. 26, all day

Why go: Travel back in time to the era of The Civil War through this exhibit, which offers a great learning experience for kids and families.

Price: N/A

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