The Great Falls Model Railroad Club will hold its sixth annual Hobo Holiday on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 144 Mill Street, across from the Barker Mill Apartments in Auburn. Dressing as hobos is fun but optional for children and adults.
Hobo Holiday is an opportunity to learn about an interesting part of railroad history while enjoying the railroad club’s five permanent operating model railroad layouts and participating in various activities and games. Hobo culture and hobo folklore are explained in a special handout. Hobo symbols placed around the building will tell other hobos about potential dangers or places where they are welcome. Everyone will have a chance to sample hobo stew.
A scavenger hunt encourages participants to investigate the entire two-story building with its extensive library and model railroad layouts in various scales. Younger children can operate Thomas the Tank Engine and will enjoy the special play area with age-appropriate trains. As guest engineers, older children can run trains on the club’s large HO layout downstairs. Games for the children will include Hoop a Caboose, Roundhouse Roulette, and fishing for prizes in a special fish pond. Hobo Bucks for guest engineers and for games that offer prizes may be purchased at the door at $1 each or seven for $5. Model railroad supplies and TrainTime videos will be available to buy.
Railroads are private property and hobos rode the trains illegally. Because the railroad club does not want to encourage trespassing on railroad property, one of the features of the Hobo Holiday is a Railroad Safety Quiz. Maine Operation Lifesaver members have suggested a number of railroad safety questions. Throughout the building, Operation Lifesaver posters will display information which can be used to answer the Railroad Safety Quiz. Participants who have answered all the questions correctly can enter their names for a free drawing. Prizes include gift certificates from Governor’s Restaurant and a free pass to ride on one of Maine’s participating tourist railroads.
Admission is $3; children under 12 are admitted free.