BELHAVEN, N.C. (WNCT) – There’s one holiday tradition in Belhaven that you definitely don’t want to miss.
“It’s a good experience,” said Butch Jones, a volunteer with Toy Trains of Belhaven.
“We have a little bit of everything,” added Donald Stark, who came up with the idea for Toy Trains of Belhaven.
Stark thought: “Maybe we could set up some toy trains and just set them up for the weekend of the Christmas parade. It was so popular that weekend we said well, maybe next year. Maybe we come back and do it again. And we did and we expanded.”
“We get a lot of comments about how much people enjoy it,” said Jones. “They just don’t believe I don’t think that something is set up like this in the little town of Belhaven. It’s a big plus for Belhaven.”
And for all the joy it brings, plenty of Christmas magic goes into putting it all together.
“I watch people come in the door and instantly they get the smiles,” said Stark. “And that’s our pay. We’re paid by the smile.”
“There’s a lot of detail in here, a lot of figures,” said Jones.
“I personally have been working this in my mind all year long,” added Stark.
“We’ll start with laying out the track and then build up from there,” explained Jones.
“We have standard gauge trains and O-gauge trains,” added Stark.
“You got to decide where you’re going to place things,” said Jones. “Where are you going to put the golf course this year? Where are you going to put the lake? Where are you going to put the race track?”
“The final step is all of the people and cars and boats and trees and bushes and trees and flowers and all that,” said Stark. “It’s an involved process.”
One of the unique things about the display is a series of 18 buttons that you can actually press and get interactive with the train display.
“Some things do things like just light up a light,” explained Stark. “Some things wave a flag. There’s a variety of things that they do.”
“It’s certainly worth your trip,” said Jones. “Whether you are a train enthusiast or not, it’ll add to your day, put a smile on your face, and you just may want to come back.”
“You won’t believe it until you walk in the door,” added Stark. “That’s what I would say and you’ll find something that will make you smile.”
It’s a unique holiday experience for both kids and kids at heart.
Toy Trains of Belhaven is free to the public and is open:
Friday, December 22, 2017: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 23, 2017: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 24, 2017: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday, December 26, 2017: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday, December 27, 2017: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Click here to visit the Toy Trains of Belhaven Facebook page.