If you are a railroad enthusiast, you will not want to miss Railfest 2019 on Saturday, April 13 at the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum in historic downtown Plant City.

The Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum will host Railfest 2019 on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum is located at 102 N. Palmer St. in downtown Plant City. Railfest is a free community event.

This is the Fifth Annual Railfest. Attendees will enjoy a fun-filled day complete with live entertainment, train rides on the miniature RWWRR train, bounce house, balloon artist, stilt walker, face painting, sidewalk chalk and free goodie bags while they last. Everyone will be greeted by ‘Mr. Henry B. Plant’ played by Michael Norton.

“This is our way to reach out to the community,” said Benito (Benny) Lubrano Jr., Executive Director of the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum Society, Inc. “We want to give the community a free, fun filled day,” added Lubrano.

In addition to the fun, food and entertainment, Railfest is an opportunity to recognize an individual who has shown dedication and participation in the community throughout the year. The Golden Spike Award, as it is known, is awarded at 11 a.m. The 2018 Golden Spike Award recipient was Bill McDaniel, the City Manager of Plant City.

There is also a Little Spike Award given to a young rail fan. Last year’s recipient was Dakota Lovern. Both McDaniel and Lovern will be on hand to congratulate this year’s winners.

According to Lubrano, “There will be two major announcements made at this year’s Railfest. One will explain our expansion into the ‘Freight Tower’ building for newly acquired displays. The other will be about the ‘worldwide’ visibility of the museum and train related traffic through the internet.”

The museum has a wonderful display of railroad memorabilia including a completely restored Seaboard Airline No. 5735 caboose.

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, please call 719-6989. Be sure to like the museum on Facebook to get current information on events.

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