Yumans are invited to come aboard for Yuma's first celebration of National Train Day.
The celebration will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historical Park, 201 N. 4th Ave.
The free event will feature door prizes, jump houses, model train displays, historic train displays throughout the grounds, informational and interactive booths, a special “Put Mama on the Train!” raffle and other prizes.
Prizes will include a round-trip Amtrak train ride from Yuma to Los Angeles, with shuttle services provided by First Class Shuttle. Someone also will win a 31-day YCATPass for unlimited rides on YCAT buses.
Trains and railroads have a special place in Yuma's history. According to the Yuma Visitors Bureau, the first train to enter Arizona crossed the Colorado River from California in 1877, at the site now known as Pivot Point Plaza (Madison Avenue at the Colorado River), “where kids can clamber into the cab of a 1907 steam locomotive.”
Colorful panels describe the historic importance of the Yuma Crossing. Pivot Point is free and open to the public every day.
Although this is Yuma's first National Train Day celebration, the event has been celebrated nationally for six years. It's held on the Saturday closest to May 10, which marks the anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869.
This year more than 200 communities are expected to host events at local train stations, railroad museums and other locations with this year's theme “Trains Matter.”
The local event is sponsored by Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, Amtrak, city of Yuma, Yuma Visitors Bureau, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Corp., Yuma Live Steamers and Yuma Model Railroad Club.
For more information on Yuma's National Train Day observance, visit www.ycat.az.gov or call 783-2235.
Mara Knaub can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.