With a switch of the ignition, Daryl Kirby fires up his pride and joy — No. 19 — a train engine from the 1800s.
The Kirby Family Farm in Williston, is becoming a local landmark, and the Kirby family is taking full advantage for the Halloween weekend.
All 173 acres of the farm will morph into “The Lost Railroad,” a carnival- themed event where elementary-aged children can celebrate Halloween without the risk of young children being scared.
Daryl Kirby first saw the train in February 2011, and by June 2012, the family had it in their possession. Six months later, it was fully operational and is now involved in providing entertainment and fun for families.
Tracy Kirby, one of the farm owners, said the goal of the carnival is to bring families closer together.
“We want families to fall in love with each other again,” Kirby said. “There’s just something about being away from the noise and traffic that sparks something in the heart.”
The family-fun atmosphere has attracted thousands of visitors, like Zoey and Erik Nevill, to the farm. The elementary-aged visitors, found the carnival amusing, saying they’ve both liked trains since they were two.
The money that comes in from the event will help further the development of the farm.
Daryl Kirby said that even though running the trains for the event is enjoyable, the best part is realizing he’s bringing families together.
“The fun part isn’t so much being the engineer or running the locomotive,” he said. “It’s when you look back to make sure your passengers are safe and you see so many smiles — kids and families pointing and laughing. That’s the part that just makes it…it’s not even a job.”