Steam Whistle?Expo

A MAJOR celebration is coming down the tracks in the All-American Town this weekend.

The 2013 Celebration & Steam Whistle Exposition unfolds in Bellaire Saturday. It is shaping up as a magnificent celebration, one that promises to bring in a large outpouring of visitors to town.

The Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society should be commended for its sponsorship and promotion of the expo. The GSV Society has labored tediously and thoroughly in putting together the event.

Saturday will feature an impressive lineup of exhibits and speakers. Later that afternoon, the Steam Whistle Expo will begin with a blast of steam whistles at the Belmont Community Health Center parking lot at the interior curve of the Great Stone Viaduct.

The expo will feature antique steam engine models.A coal and wood fired 1910 Reeves steam boiler will be featured as will the Great American Horn Machine. It is the world’s loudest mobile musical instrument. It’s a collection of truck, train and ship horns and whistles that is controlled by a MDI decoder that can be played from a laptop computer.

A myriad of crafters will be setting up shop during the two-day festival and a host of food vendors will also be on hand.

The Bellaire Library will have several exhibits and vendors in the community room. A slate of heavyweight speakers is also on tap.

Pre-registration has ended, but interested people may register at the door beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. Available seating remains.

James Dilts is going to be a dynamic speaker. In addition to his being a historian, author and photographer, Dilts is extensively involved in preservation of historic railroad architecture. He is writing a book on Railroad Architectural Treasures of North America and is planning a section on the Bellaire Great Stone Viaduct. It will be a lecture worth attending.

Bellaire has lost a lot over the past few decades. Population has dropped drastically and many businesses have closed.

But Bellaire pride still resonates. The Steam Whistle Exposition is a celebration the community can hang its collective hat on and rally around. The expo has the makings of a new and longstanding tradition in the All-American Town.